February 09, 2010
Folsom Lake College, in collaboration with several El Dorado County partners, has been awarded $389,000 in continued funding under the Governor's Career Technical Education Initiative (SB 70/SB 1133), to raise the awareness of "middle skill" career opportunities among 6th through 12th grade students in El Dorado County schools. Middle skill careers are those that require some post-baccalaureate training (a certificate or AA/AS degree), but may not necessarily require a Bachelor's degree.
In conjunction with several El Dorado County partner businesses, agencies and organizations (including the El Dorado County Office of Education, the El Dorado Union High School District, the Black Oak Mine Unified School District, Lake Tahoe Community College, P.G. & E., SMUD, the El Dorado Irrigation District, Sierra Pacific Industries, the Apple Hill Growers Association, the United States Forest Service, Marshall Hospital, Barton Health, fire fighting agencies, local child care businesses, wineries, hotels, and rafting companies) the Grant will place 6th through 12th grade teachers in paid summer externships at jobs related to the following industry sectors: Natural Resources, Early Childhood Education, Travel, Hospitality and Tourism, and Allied Health. After learning first-hand the job skills required to work in these various industries, the teachers will create contextual lessons they will share with their students to inform them about local job opportunities and the skills necessary to acquire these jobs. Four FLC faculty members will also work on creating and implementing a general education course on sustainability at the college level and integrating the concepts of sustainability into other existing FLC courses across the disciplines. Funding to host a Career Exploration Fair for middle-school students is also included in the Grant.
Previous rounds of SB 70 funding, starting in September of 2008, have provided $969,000 for these efforts. The current round of grant funding will provide $389,000 over the next 24 months to continue and expand these efforts.
"We view this grant as a tremendous opportunity to make El Dorado County students more aware of the range of potential career opportunities available to them, not only in their own backyard, but also regionally and nationally," said Dale van Dam, El Dorado Center Site Dean and Grant Director. "In addition to implementing this grant, we think we've created a consortium of community partners that will be able to pursue other local funding opportunities that will benefit El Dorado County students in the future."
"We've been thrilled to work closely with a broad range of community partners on previous rounds of the grant, and we think what we've proposed for the current round of funding is even more exciting and has the potential to impact more students," commented Jim Hall, the Grant Coordinator. Jim works for the El Dorado Union High School District and is a long-time career technical educator and advocate.
"Folsom Lake College is excited to receive additional funding for this collaborative effort. It confirms the great value of the important work being done in El Dorado County," added Folsom Lake College President Dr. Thelma Scott-Skillman.