Quarterly Narrative Report
Imperial County UROG School to Work Grant
Prepared by: Deborah Harrold
School to Career Coordinator
(760) 336-2418 Voice (760) 336-2780 Fax
The Imperial Valley Education/Business Workforce Coalition is the oversight committee for the Urban/Rural Opportunities Grant. The committee meets on a monthly basis to hear and offer advise about the progress of the Urban/Rural Opportunities Grant.
The foundation of our School to Work program is our partners who continually offer support and encouragement for the program. Our employers recognize the benefits of our STW/STC collaboration.
The School to Career Coordinator holds the office of secretary of the Enterprise Community and is a member of Imperial County’s Southwest Border Pilot Community Response Team and holds the office of secretary and project chair of the Imperial County Overall Economic Development Commission. This enables School to Career to work with project partners to develop and provide continual support of educational and skill training programs throughout the Imperial Valley.
Our Career Guidance Specialist is based at the One-Stop Employment Center in Calexico. Since she also lives in Calexico, she is able to develop and strengthen employer relationships through community events. Partnering with these organizations is important to the success of our activities.
Since receiving a fair amount of newspaper coverage and more School to Career activities in the schools, we have seen a tremendous response to our efforts in implementing this program. Our support staff (site leaders) at each school site makes time to discuss projects and entertain ideas of how to better coordinate various events for all involved. Both school districts, the Calexico Unified School District and Heber School District offer support and encourage participation in all our activities.
The School to Career staff is very involved in community activities such as the Calexico Chamber of Commerce, El Centro Chamber of Commerce, Calexico Lion’s Club, Women’s Leadership Coalition, Overall Economic Development Commission and the Southwest Border Pilot Community Response Team and the Enterprise Community committee. Participating in the community organizations provides a network of support and communication that has been vital to the sustainability of this program.
School to Career participated in the Junior High Career Day on January 10th. Thirteen (13) Imperial County junior high schools participated in the Career Pathways 2002 at Imperial Valley College. Over 500 students had the opportunity to attend workshops that included careers in law enforcement, computer technology, corrections, business, media, health, education, art, career awareness, fitness and nutrition. Seventeen exhibitors ranging from the U.S. Border Patrol to the University of California San Diego Early Academic Outreach Program also attended the event. Kyle Cease of “Clean Comedians” was the special speaker and entertained students with his special brand of humor. Career Pathways 2002 is a joint partnership with Imperial Valley Regional Occupational Program, CalWORKs and the Employment Development Department.
Eighteen percent of the students that attended Career Day were from Heber School District.
School to Career staff planned and organized the March 1st Career Fair for Mains Elementary School in Calexico.
Classroom presenters for 4th, 5th and 6th grades included:
Julia Osuna City of Calexico
Rudy Ramirez J.C. Penneys
Mr. Bouck Continental Airlines
Adria Melendez Calexico Family Resource Center
Loli Escalante Government Agencies Federal Credit Union
Abraham Belellano CalWORKs
Will Rodriguez KSWT Channel 13 Television Station
Sergio Cabanas COVANTA Geothermal
Tim Walker Centinela Prison
Rudy Maldonado Imperial Irrigation District
Brian Bouck El Centro Regional Medical Center Physical Therapy Department
Vehicles presentations for grades K through 6th grades included:
Imperial County Office of Education Mobile Technology Unit
U.S. Border Patrol
Calexico Fire Department
U.S. Immigration Canine Unit
Pacific Bell Telephone
County of Imperial Mobile Command Unit
Calexico Police Deparment
U.S. Customs Canine Unit
Resource tables for grades K through 6th grades included: El Centro Regional Medical Center, School to Career, One Stop Employment Services, Government Agencies Federal Credit Union, Imperial County Health Department and McDonalds Restaurant.
School to Career staff participated in the March 20th Moreno Junior High School career fair. We were also part of the planning committee for the March 28th Calexico High School career fair and participated as an exhibitor.
Mains Power Lunches have been very successful. We schedule lunches once a month for the 3rd grade classes. Some of the employers that have volunteered their lunch hours for this quarter are: Aaron Claverie and Jennifer Ralton Smith of the Imperial Valley Press newspaper and French exchange students, Audrey Cyrot and Louis-Axel Meiner. Audrey and Louis-Axel are working on their master degrees at San Diego State University. The five French exchange students will be giving a presentation in June for the summer school students at Mains Elementary.
Heber School District Power Lunches meet once a month. Employers during this quarter have included: Imperial County Fire Department, Imperial Valley Regional Occupational Program and Heber School District.
The Heber School District Parent Institute took place on March 21st. Parents received advance registration forms and school personnel offered free childcare.
Sessions were offered in English and Spanish. Some of the breakout sessions included:
Aurora High Parent Fair and Open House will take place on April 25th. Our flyers/invitations read “Join us in a DOUBLE evening event…Aurora High School Parent’s Fair and Open House.” The Parent’s Fair will take place at the One Stop Employment Services Office and the Open House will be held at Aurora High School.
Representatives from the various partners of the One Stop will give presentations on the services they have to offer.
School to Career staff organized five group job shadows for Heber School District. Forty-five (45) students participated in this activity. Students visited Western Auto, Pep Boys, the City of Calexico, the Fire Department, the Department of Recreation, KQVO-Radio, WalMart and Mains Elementary in Calexico. After completion of the job shadows, all five groups had lunch in the park. Calexico High School had twenty-two (22) students that took part in the annual Groundhog Job Shadow Day.
The School to Career (UROG) Coordinator worked with Judy Maurice, Assistant Superintendent at the Imperial County Office of Education and Kirk Lyster of Rutter Media to produce television commercials (state grant advertising funds) for Groundhog Job Shadow Day. The purpose of these commercials is to keep connected with employers in order to build (and sustain) the capacity of the STW/STC system.
Every Tuesday evening from 5 – 6 P. M. the STC Coordinator and Career Guidance Specialist conduct portfolio sessions for William Moreno Junior High students. These sessions are for students age 14 or older. They learn how to write a resume, job preparation skills, interview skills and will participate in student internships for the summer.
The front page of our February issued featured an article on Karla Medina of Calexico High School who after completing a School to Career internship landed a part time job at KQVO radio in Calexico.
Policies and Support:
Through regular meetings and/or communication with IVROP, CUSD and administration and staff at our schools, we are able to keep current with all regulations and policies.
Building the Capacity of The System:
On February 7th at Hometown Buffet in Calexico School to Career/IVROP held an employer luncheon to present “Survivor – A Community Challenge.” The purpose of the short, fun and informative luncheon was to talk about our potential as a community with local resources, education, workforce development and economic development services.
John Moreno, Assistant Principal at Calexico High School, served as host of the event. Students from Mains Elementary, Moreno Junior High, Aurora High School and Heber School District answered the questions correctly and were chosen to become contestants for the Community Challenge.
Students were quizzed about the education, training and work experience that may be needed to perform duties for a science related career.
The special speaker for the luncheon was Denise Moreno Ducheny. She talked about the growth of the Imperial Valley and the similarities to Phoenix and Las Vegas and the cross-border business, transportation, education and health issues that we encounter here.
She stressed the importance of providing opportunities for students through internships, career fairs, field trips and work experience.
Stating that many in the audience were close to her age, Ms. Ducheny joked, “How many of you remember the mimeograph machine?” She talked about how far we have come with technology in a short period of time. “Students need to learn technology skills to function successfully in the business world,” she said.
Ms. Ducheny stressed that School to Career employer participation and commitment is a key component for ensuring student success.
The IVROP School to Career staff has undertaken the duties of publishing the STC newsletter “InfoLine” in conjunction with the Imperial County Office of Education. This newsletter reaches out in the community to approximately 3000 educators and employer partners.
During two of our employer events, we were able to film the presentations made by Kathleen Harris and Ian Jukes, respectively. Imperial County Office of Education partnered with us by absorbing the costs for the Ian Jukes filming. Both presentations are approximately one hour in length and will be used for professional staff development as well as for regular public viewing on the Imperial County Office of Education Channel 99.
School to Career partnered with Imperial County Office of Education on their Second Annual Imperial Valley Educational Technology Conference January 11th and 12th. Five hundred Calexico High School students participated in a student assembly with Alan November as the featured speaker. We also invited all our educators to the Friday night presentation by Mr. November. Half of the Saturday technology conference attendees took part because of the partnership with School to Career (UROG).
School to Career once again participated in the annual Overall Economic Development Commission conference that took place on January 23, 2002. The purpose of the conference was to focus on the vision, challenges, goals, tasks and partners that makeup our economic plan for Imperial Valley 2010. By attending this conference, the different government agencies and groups in the Imperial Valley worked together to move toward a coordinated effort to better the economy and quality of life for all Imperial Valley residents.
The countywide financial support for school to Career in the form of a state grant ended as of September 30, 2001, although the federal Urban/Rural Opportunities Grant (UROG) continues for Calexico and Heber and is administered through the Imperial Valley Regional Occupational Program. However, many of the UROG activities benefit employers, community members and educators throughout Imperial Valley.
ICOE & IVROP has a strong commitment to sustaining the important work begun by the School to Career grant. They will maintain communication with the large School to Career Coalition to invite them to relevant activities. In addition, members of the Coalition will be encouraged to participate in special activities such as job shadowing, the speakers’ bureau, interviews to award employability certificates and other school events.
Together the members of the Steering Committee are pooling people and financial resources to continue the Employability Certificate and the national Groundhog Job Shadow event.
The Imperial County Office of Education, Imperial Valley Regional Occupational Program and the Imperial Valley Business/Education Coalition continue to build on existing programs and services in the community, leveraging public and private funds, staff, equipment and other resources from all of their key partners to support School to Career.