Career Technical Education (CTE) is part of California’s response to the challenges that the state’s high school students will have to meet in the 21st century—whether they go on from high school to attend college or pursue other post-secondary education, enter directly into careers, or some combination of college, training and career. CTE initiatives are part of a statewide approach to transforming high schools and to making sure that high school graduates are prepared for college, careers, or both. Since it is designed to provide students with many options for achieving career and post-secondary education goals, this approach is sometimes called “Multiple Pathways” or “Linked Learning,” because it combines academic rigor with the types of skills that employers are looking for in the workforce—skills like being able to communicate clearly, work in teams, and solve problems using creativity and innovation.
The members of Santa Cruz County’s CTE Community Collaborative are working hard to make sure Santa Cruz County stays ahead of the curve by preparing our students for the future. We are part of state, regional, and national initiatives working on the same goals: helping students access CTE careers that are unlikely to be outsourced because communities rely on them.
We represent many different partners who share a focus on the careers that make our community a safe, healthy, and desirable place to live and work—careers in public safety, health, construction & energy management, and horticulture/agriculture. These areas were chosen with input from Collaborative members, including employers and agencies that track local and regional workforce trends.
Many students may not realize just how rewarding these careers can be—not only financially, but in terms of job satisfaction and job security. (And the adults around them—parents, teachers, and counselors—may have out-of-date ideas about these careers, too.)
Santa Cruz County’s CTE Community Collaborative includes Cabrillo College, Santa Cruz County Regional Occupational Program (ROP), K-12 schools, and local industry partners and employers. Together, we work to anticipate workforce needs in our County and throughout the region, and then respond with the programs that help students identify, explore and pursue promising CTE careers.