Key Elements

Current Project Year 2000-2001

Current Project Year 2000-2001

Next Year 2001-2002

  1. Building the System

1.1 The School-based Component


A. Enlisting support and participation of key stakeholders (students, teachers, parents, school boards, counselors and administrators.

Support measures which include the following: ongoing staff development for the teachers at all five sites; job shadowing opportunities for teachers, counselors and administrators, identifying STC leaders at each site; and improving articulation with post-secondary partners.

Met with Calexico Unified School Administrators. Conducted meetings with principals, assistant principals and staff. Meet on a regular basis with Heber Superintendent. Conduct regular meetings with school site leaders, counselors and career staff technicians.

To further promote high academic standards, we have conducted Parent Fairs in our schools that have been very successful. So much so in fact, that the schools have requested we offer them twice a year instead of once to reach all parents. Some of the breakout sessions at the PF have included: Behavior Management/Parenting Skills, High School Exit Exam, Computer Technology, IVROP, One Stop/Job Resource, Imperial Valley College, Drug and Gang Awareness, Learning to Read can be Fun, Your Pathway to Better Health, Law Enforcement Careers, Let’s Learn How to Use Our Sounds and Letters, Early Academic Outreach Program, Teen Anger Management, and Reading & Vocabulary.

Give STC presentations to all staff at back to school in-service meetings. Ensure STC collaboration with academic programs already in existence.





We have found that our participating agencies and educators are enthusiastic about our Parent Fairs. Agencies appreciate the collaboration with School to Career, providing their services to the public and improving the quality of life for community members.

Offer parent fairs twice a year, instead of annually.

Every year participate in the back to school night/open house for parents. Provide information to parents as to how they can incorporate School to Career into their interactions with their children. Whereas we have STC brochures, we would like to develop a more user-friendly helpful hints brochure for parents to use.

B. Restructuring Schools around Career Awareness, Career Exploration, Guidance and Career Clusters.

Establish and functioning school-based and work-based activities.

We were able to substantially increase the numbers of Calexico High School students that earned the Employability Certificate. The students were recognized in a countywide EC recipient’s luncheon, along with members representing the private and public sector of the community.

We provided planning and organization for career fairs for two schools and participation in career fairs for our other schools.

UROG staff has participated in evaluating senior projects at two schools, which encourage youth to explore an area of interest. Students must present their findings orally before a panel of business members and educators. All youth must pass this senior project successfully in order to graduate from high school. As a result of UROG contact with the senior projects, UROG staff has been able to provide employers additional contact information and/or job resource information to participating youth.

Provide special speakers (as related to the specific coursework) to come in and talk with individual classes. Example: we provided an entomologist to talk with three (3) separate classes on insects and careers in the science field.

School to Career (UROG) staff has either planned, organized and/or participated in career fairs at all sites. Mains Elementary and Heber School District has requested the assistance of totally organizing the career fairs and has now asked for twice a year, instead of the annual event, due to the popularity with the students.

Our junior high students also are given the opportunity to participate in an IVROP sponsored event, called Career Pathways 2001. This year Heber School District students participated in this event. Sessions included: careers in law enforcement, careers in health, careers in the media, careers in business and finance, career awareness, careers in computer technology, careers in CAD and computer animation, careers in corrections, careers in education and careers in the environment.

Career Fairs; increase numbers of Employability Certificate recipients with marketing plan.

Continue to provide special speakers from the business community.

Work to create a classroom environment that blends high expectations, leadership development and social-emotional nourishment while challenging students to develop their critical thinking skills.

C. Integrating Academic and Occupational Curricula

Creation of a Virtual Resource Center to provide on-line access to students, educators and the business community.




Virtual Resource Technology Centers are active and providing career information. Developed jobs database consisting of 127 job related websites.

Under our UROG, we established our own web page

To provide information about our services, as well as inform the community as to our progress by offering our DOL/DOE quarterly narrative reports and our annual Performance Plans and Report online.

We have also added a JOBS link on the web site where one has access to over 300 internet address for job searches and employment resource information. For students, educators and parents, we have added a GOVERNMENT link on the web site to provide easy access to local, state and federal government websites and related information sources. We have also added a statistical resources link from the University of Michigan that is an incredible source of statistical information in all areas.

We are also linked to our San Diego School to Career partner.

Continue providing technical assistance in computer technology and job related software.


Expand our web page to include more links that students, parents and other community members can use in their research of academic, vocational and occupational information.


Pilot a career awareness camp.

Duration of the camp will be four weeks for Moreno Junior High students and five weeks for Heber Junior High students.

The classes will concentrate on the teaching of reading and writing expository text.

The students will participate in activities that will enhance their awareness of career opportunities.

William Moreno Junior High School and Heber Junior High School are using curriculum that helps develop skills in nonfiction reading and writing. Student’s work is based on common standards for the language arts instruction, detailed explanations of four writing domains: narrative, expository, persuasive and visual presentation, reference section on grammar, usage and the mechanics of writing, writing benchmarks, rubrics and assessment tools.

Students have been provided special speakers each week that have shared work experiences and the qualifications needed to perform their jobs. We have also provided local tours and for our last day of the institute, we are taking 161 students and 16 chaperones to the Rueben H. Fleet Science Center in San Diego, CA.

After the summer session is completed, students are given the opportunity to perform a student internship work experience (20 hours) with an employer.

Continue with our summer programs for our at-risk youth which includes the four-week career awareness camp, field trips, special speakers and job shadowing.


Provide special speakers for career connections.

The UROG partnership has established power lunches and morning champions for youth. These activities provide an opportunity for employers to identify the academic and technical skills necessary for certain careers. Power lunches occur twice a month at Mains and Elementary and once a month at Heber School District. For the Power Lunch, the classroom teacher selects five students to spend the lunch period in the classroom with an employer mentor to talk about what they can expect in a real life work experience. The Morning Champions component has a different employer address the work experience class at Calexico High School on a monthly basis. All participating schools have asked that the number of occurrences increase, due to the popularity of the activities.

Five hundred (500) Calexico High students attended a student assembly that we put together for March 9th. Our special speaker was Ian Jukes who talked about the importance of new technology and education.

Approximately 487 students from William Moreno Junior High School attended a student assembly on March 9th with Ian Jukes. Ian impressed upon the students that this is an exciting technological time and they should take advantage of all that is offered to them academically.


We will continue with outstanding speakers for our Summer Camp students.

We would like to develop an effective guest speaker program and use some strategies as to how best prepare students to be receptive.

















Continue using top-notch speakers like Kathleen Harris and Ian Jukes for a variety of activities during their workday here in Imperial County. Activities would include conferences, professional staff development, special speakers at schools for students and again at night for parents.


Students have the opportunity of field trips.

To promote student achievement and maximize learning at all levels, strategies and methodologies that promote high academic achievement and technical skills standards have been incorporated. This is evidenced by the Heber School District, where students were able to participate in the Sea World Educational Program in San Diego. The students had been studying oceanography, conducting research on the internet and making posters of their learning, prior to a trip to Sea World. When they returned, the 4th and 5th grade students organized a mini-career fair, where they were able to share with other students, the careers available in oceanography as well as the educational facility and the educational requirements for those careers.

Provide field trips for the summer camp students in the area of their study.


Support measures that include increasing involvement and awareness by parents, students, community leaders, business leaders and educators. These support mechanisms will generate backing and sustainability for fundamental change in and out of the classroom which will ultimately result in systemic change. These enhancements will become an integral part of the school to career system at each school site. These changes will result in better-prepared students that are able to enter high wage careers.

The integration of academics and vocational education has been promoted through the production of two videos shown countywide to educators, employers and parents which has been presented on our local educational station. The first video was taped at our "Building Community Connections" conference held for employers and educators. Kathleen Harris was the key presented and spoke on the key elements of high quality integrated programs. Many teachers who participated in the conference continue to refer to her strategies and ways that they can work with others as they improve their lesson delivery. The second video produced was of Ian Jukes, who spoke on education and what we can expect from technological advancements. His presentation stimulated conversation among the educators and business community members in ways that they could better work together. Again, this video has been made available countywide through our educational television channel 99.

We are planning a fall conference for educators, employers and community members to educate and prepare them for the changes in the educational approach to ensure that EVERY student can pass the High School Exit Exam and is well prepared for the awaiting world of postsecondary training/education and work.

Use community organizations, such as the Calexico Chamber of Commerce and Rotary to provide opportunities for the integration of business/industry workforce development and education.

Constant communication has been maintained between and among the partners via a home page, newsletters and publications. In addition to maintaining constant communication with the workplace partners and inviting them to participate in the action groups, we have asked and received regular feedback on the effectiveness of work-based activities from our workplace partners. Regular visits have been scheduled to workplace partner sites to ensure that students are acquiring appropriate workplace skills and competencies. Additionally, teaching staff has been placed at workplace sites for shadowing experiences to ensure they understand workplace concepts and technologies. Strategies for deepening involvement of additional business partners include the following: Involving on Steering Committee; Involving in Job Shadowing, Career Fair/Day; Participation/Sponsorship; Using as Student Mentors and Classroom Presentations.

D. Establishing Rigorous Academic Content and Performance Standards

To promote student achievement and maximize learning at all levels; strategies and methodologies that encourage applied teaching approaches will be incorporated. These methodologies and strategies include the application of knowledge across disciplines, integrated curriculum, non-traditional learning styles through hands-on activities and the application of real-world situations.

We have ensured the coordination and integration through the School to Career Education and Articulation Plan. These occupational standards include resources, technology information, systems, interpersonal, basic skills, thinking skills and personal qualities.

One of the important pieces of our School to Career program is the work that we have been doing with Moreno Junior High and Calexico High School in the articulation of Language Arts Instruction to better prepare students to pass the High School Exit Exam. We have been working with 9th and 10th grade Language Arts teachers, and using the Language Arts standards as a guide, have been identifying curriculum as well as assessments that will help us ensure that we are not only teaching to the standards but also assessing to make sure students are mastering the standards and therefore preparing them to pass the High School Exit Exam. This way we are ensuring that they will be fully prepared to go out into the work force.

Our academic specialist will give presentations at all our parent fairs for the High School Exit Exam. All breakout sessions will be offered in English and Spanish.

  1. Providing Professional

Staff Development.

Provide professional staff development.

Teachers have been provided with training that addresses numerous ways on how the needs of students can be met. Through our UROG funding, we have been able to assist the school districts in sending their educators to the Computer Using Educators conference. Classroom technology strategies are taught for using a variety of technologies including multimedia, and how educators can easily integrate all curricular strands while fulfilling the state framework, and save teachers prep time.


We have also used a variety of funding sources to pay for the professional development. Some of the training has included: portfolio assessment, working with special needs youth, technology for educators, integrating academic and vocational education and career education.

With Ian Jukes, we were able to provide staff development for our educators.

Staff from the local community college are included in have participated in STW professional development activities. These activities have led to increased dialogue among staff members at the secondary and postsecondary levels. Staff development program at the college have targeted and have been design ed to include integration with all aspects of the industry, and performance-based accountability measurement using UI wage data. An end product of all these interactions have resulted in articulated classes and joint career festivals.

Continue to offer to teachers/educators opportunities for professional development.

Provide time for incorporating conference results into staff training sessions.

  1. Building the System
    1. Work-Based Component
  1. Offering a continuum of work-based learning and mentoring:

*job shadowing


*structured work experience

*paid work experience

*service learning

*school-sponsored enterprises

*entrepenurial projects

Expand teach job shadowing opportunities to allow teachers to see first hand, the skills and tasks required of a given job. Issue an Employability Skills Certificate that will identify workplace skills and occupational competencies. Increase opportunities for student mentoring. Coordinate and expand workplace-shadowing activities. Pilot a career awareness camp. Learning about careers will be accomplished through hands-on activities, speakers, field trips and job shadowing. Incorporate Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) competencies into the curricula and instruction. Create opportunities for students to acquire first-hand work experience through paid and unpaid internships. Establish advisory committees that will include a broad constituency of educators, parents, business and community members.

School to Career (UROG) along with the Calexico Chamber of Commerce and the Calexico Rotary hosted the Tag Along Day for Calexico High School seniors on April 3, 2001. We had forty-nine (49) seniors participating in this activity. After their morning job shadow experience with an employer, we had a luncheon for students and their employers at the Hometown Buffet. Donna Corvin, the Public Affairs Officer of the U.S. Navy was our keynote speaker. She has been an excellent role model for our students in the community.

We also used Donna for other events as a special speaker for Heber School District, Aurora High School and Mains Elementary.

STC staff organized four group job shadows for Heber School District. Forty-nine (49) students participated in this activity. Students visited U.S. Customs Service, Wal-Mart, Pep Boys and Hungry Howie’s Pizza Restaurant in Calexico.

We have been able to offer student internships to students, ages 14 and older. We have found that once students go to the worksite and serve under a mentor, they better understand the relevancy of their academics.

Success Story: One Calexico High School student, Michael Dawson, took part in the video production internship program. As a result, this summer he has been hired at $10.50 an hour to work for KYMA-TV, Channel 11 to instruct other young people in the craft of video production. Michael hopes to become a television producer after he finished his college education.

We also continue to offer teacher internships that provide teachers with an opportunity to increase the number of academic-vocational integrated lessons. Teachers have remarked how beneficial the work experience has been and they are able to reinforce standards in the connection from school to careers.

Success Story: Suzanne Moyron, a 7th grade teacher wanted to emphasize the importance of the application of geometry to her students. She obtained a teacher internship at the El Centro Public Works Department, Water and Sewer Division. Her students were curious how formulas and dimensions can be applied in their everyday life. The discussion began when one student mentioned his father worked at the wastewater plant. This discussion initiated an investigation and application of formulas used to treat our wastewater and also facilitated the understanding of how dimensions and measures are required in such a field. Through the School to Career teacher internship program, Ms. Moyron was able to impart to her students the understanding of geometry and measurements with the treatment of water. Her internship experience increased her subject application through her hands-on activities and real-world work experience at the El Centro Water and Sewer Plant. The connection she made with the employer has also opened up tour opportunities for students.

Incorporate student internships into the "work experience" program for Calexico and Aurora High Schools.

Continue the "Tag-a-long Day" partnership with the Calexico Chamber of Commerce and the Calexico Rotary. Report at their monthly meetings of School to Work successes and upcoming events.

Businesses are interested in helping with the job shadow program or internship program. Connect this activity through the planned Chamber database of employer STC activities.

Increase the attendance of teachers at the annual School Career Conference.

Provide activities for follow-up to the conference such as special speakers, special writing assignments on careers, etc.

Include more entrepreneurial components into the School to Work program.

Discuss with Imperial Valley Regional Occupational Program the possibility of an "entrepreneurial program."

Conduct feasibility study on instituting a student run/Calexico High School Business Department operated Government Agencies Federal Credit Union branch on the high school campus.

The NAFTASHO is an annual manufacturing trade show from Imperial Valley, Coachella and Mexicali. We would like to see participation via student internships. These students would be part of their business program from their respective high schools.


  1. Building the System
  2. 1.3 Connecting Activities


A. Enlisting support and participation of key stakeholders (employers, unions, trade and professional association, the business community and other community organizations.)

Maintain constant communication with the workplace partners and other interested parties. We have asked for and received regular feedback on the effectiveness of work-based activities from our workplace partners. Regular visits have been and will continue to be scheduled to workplace partner sites to ensure that students are acquiring appropriate workplace skills and competencies.

Constant communication has been maintained between and among the partners via inviting them to participate in action groups, newsletters, employer conferences and personal visits. Regular visits have been scheduled to workplace partner sites to ensure that students are acquiring appropriate workplace skills and competencies. Additionally, teaching staff has been placed at workplace sites for shadowing experiences to ensure they understand workplace concepts and technologies.

The University of California Desert Research and Extension was host to over 300 high school students, teachers and guests on 1/11/01 for the Second Annual Ag Futures Conference. Students from our Calexico High School and throughout the valley participated in the day’s events. The students were given tours and presentations by professionals in agricultural research, environmental sciences, agriculture regulatory and local industry. Ag Futures is a partnership between the University of California, The Imperial Valley Business/Education Coalition and area high schools. Besides providing the annual conference, the Center provides internships and college scholarships.

Continue the participation in community activities.

Network with other agencies/businesses that may have a vested interest in learning how School to Work can lead to further economic development.

B. Developing Collaborative Agreements between Schools, Employers and Unions.

The mission of the Imperial Valley Business/Education Coalition is to build academic and career competencies giving all students a foundation for lifelong learning and enabling them to secure a place in the workforce.

Every Coalition member has signed an agreement outlining their commitment to implement the School to Work plan.

Implement strategies for including business such as: recognizing the contribution of businesses through the media, certificates, plaques, ceremonies; expanding our current mailing list; having members of the steering committee make presentations at service clubs, chambers of commerce, etc; working with the Economic Development groups to avoid duplication of services; using the virtual resource center and web site; sending our regular newsletters; and transmitting information on the television Channel 99.

Strategies for deepening involvement of additional business partners include the following: involving on steering committee; involving in job shadowing; career fair/day; participation/sponsorship; using as student mentors and classroom presentation.

Success Story: A Calexico High School senior, Nora wanted to experience an internship at a job site. We placed her at the California Center for Border and Regional Economic Studies located at San Diego State University. Nora performed her internship so well that the Executive Director of CCBRES hired her for the summer. She continued to excel in her job, so the Center provided her part time work while she started community college. She now handles the organizational responsibilities for special events.







Other strategies for involving all businesses have included: recognizing the contributions of businesses through the media, certificates, plaques, ceremonies, etc; developing a bumper sticker that states "I support School-to-Career", expanding our current mailing list; having members of the steering committee make presentations at service clubs, chambers of commerce, etc; working with the Economic Development groups to avoid duplication of services; using the virtual resource center and web site; sending out regular newsletters; and transmitting television on channel 99.

Personal contact with the employer seems to be the best method for strengthening the relationship and keeping them involved in School to Work.

Providing employers with documentation, such as invite letters, thank you letters and photo of the School to Work event gives them the leverage that they need to bolster some of their other business projects.

C. Developing Collaborative Agreements between Secondary and Postsecondary Institutions, Apprenticeship Programs, etc.

The Imperial Valley Business/Education Coalition has been instrumental in identifying effective strategies for integrating school-based and work-based learning activities and establishing linkages between secondary and post-secondary institutions. Some of these effective strategies include the following: mentoring, teach job shadowing, articulation meetings, professional development.

UROG staff has partnered with the Imperial Valley College Career Guidance Center to launch a major trade show for students and adults scheduled for October. The design of the trade show will be similar to our annual Imperial Valley Expo

Business Showcase. John Sorenson, a Coalition member representing the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local #465 and 569, will coordinate the trade show with STW staff. Employers will come from Phoenix

and Los Angeles to demonstrate samples of their trades. Some of these trades include: engravers, electricians, glazers, plumbers, pipe fitters and construction workers. They will bring interactive activities for student involvement. They will also provide information as to the required education, pay benefits, and retirement plans that are available in these positions.


School to Work meets on a regular basis with representatives from SDSU and Imperial Valley College on how we can build upon the work we have done and eliminate any duplication of efforts and maximize our resources to provide School to Work opportunities for youth.

We have placed job shadows and internships at SDSU.

Imperial Valley College is represented by the Dean of Vocational Education who also serves as a member to the Imperial Valley Business/Education Coalition.

The strong working relationship with the local community college and the articulation agreements in place help students consider college and/or advanced training.

Imperial County, through the Overall Economic Development Commission is working on revising its strategic plan. School to Work is represented at the monthly meetings and is working to achieve full integration of this aspect of community economic development.

Discuss with Imperial Valley College re: educating the next generation of Automotive Service Technicians. Implement the Automotive Youth Educational Systems (AYES) in conjunction with the IVC Automotive program in order to attract young people to the field of automotive technology and prepare them for entry-level career positions as Automotive Service Technicians.


We expect to continue our partnerships with Imperial Valley College and San Diego State University.

D. Coordinating with existing programs (Perkins, Tech Prep, ESEA Title I, GOALS 2000, JTPA, One-Stop, Job Corps, other)

Some of the existing efforts to maximize funding sources have included using Carl Perkins monies to provide professional development and training to assist teachers in designing lessons, which integrate the academic and vocational disciplines to promote student learning and achievement. Carl Perkins monies and donation from local businesses have been used to provide support for a non-traditional career conference, which exposes at-risk junior and senior high school students to careers and role models with the country.

State funds from Tech Prep have been used to sponsor teacher job shadowing, curricula revision, and development of articulation agreements with the local community college and staff development.

JTPA monies have also been used by the school districts including the Regional Occupational Program to integrate components of the STW plan into existing programs. JTPA in-school youth providers have developed a plan to incorporate STW concepts into their JTPA programs through a student employment portfolio and an aggressive staff development program.

Having received a state STW implementation grant, the foundation to work collaboratively with one another to achieve full integration of STW throughout the country, has taken place. It is because of these existing efforts, we have been able to build upon the work done with the Calexico Unified School District and Heber School District, thereby eliminating the duplication of efforts and maximizing resources to provide STW opportunities to high poverty youth.

Currently there are numerous efforts within our participating school sites to coordinate and integrate STW and the various funding sources including the state STAW monies. Some of these existing efforts to maximize funding sources have included using Carol Perkins monies to provide professional development and training to assist teachers in designing lessons that integrate the academic and vocational disciplines to promote student learning and achievement. State funds from Tech Prep have been used for curricula revision staff development and development of articulation agreements with the local community college.

Our department provides tours of the One-Stop center through our School to Work program for our students.

The Calexico Family Resource Center Collaborative also coordinates their programs with School to Work activities and provides activities and resources for our youth.

Continue to seek funding and resources for School to Career. Coordinate with other agencies to accomplish goals and objectives.































Continue reaching out to the community, informing them of the resources that the One-Stop centers offer to help their families improve their quality of life.

Continue meeting with the Calexico Family Resource Center Collaborative to see where we can work together, thus saving time, money and resources to reach our shared goals and objectives.

E. Ensuring Consistency with State System

Representatives from the State School to Career office were contacted by the Coalition early in the conceptual stages of developing the state proposal. They urged the Coalition to follow the California School to Career plan. State representatives also encouraged the Coalition members to continue their STC endeavors that began in the Fall of 1993. Over the last few years, Coalition members have attended state-sponsored STC forums and assisted the state in the reading of School to Career applications.

The partnership has and continued to work with staff from the State on many reform efforts that include Tech Prep, mentoring, Workforce Investment Act, promoting high academic standards and Welfare-to-Work. Because many of the partners are involved in these movements there is constant dialogue between the State and the members of the partnership. When the partners meet, ideas are constantly being exchanged and opportunities for promoting connections to avoid duplication are reviewed. This is an advantage to living in a small community where many directors know each other on a first name basis.

Plans are to continue to be active in the School to Career movement through conferences and other activities in the coming years.

The School to Work staff would like to have the opportunity to continue to showcase their successes through meetings and/or conferences.

The UROG staff collaborates with the state School to Career staff and will continue to work on increasing the eligibility for the Employability Certificates, the National Groundhog Job Shadow Day and Educator/Employer conferences. We also will continue to collaborate on notification of procedural systems set by the federal and state governments.

F. Coordinating with Local and Regional Economic Development Strategies

Imperial County’s vision for change includes building a sustainable future that offers solutions to physical, social, economic and environmental barriers.

The Overall Economic Development Commission is a locally initiated planning process designed to create employment opportunities, foster more stable and diversified local economies, improve local conditions and provide a mechanism for building and coordinating the efforts of local individuals and organizations concerned with economic development.

The OEDC is the principal coordinator of the planning process, coordinating the various activities undertaken locally to stimulate new private and public investment, and to provide permanent employment and growth opportunities in the area.

The Imperial County Overall Economic Development Plan for the Enterprise Community and the Imperial Valley College Workforce Development Plan both identify inadequate work skills as a weakness.



The School to Career (Work) Coordinator is on the executive committee for the Overall Economic Development Commission and also a member of the Enterprise Community executive committee.

As such, the STC Coordinator was part of the planning committee for the January 25th Overall Economic Development Conference. We were able to edit nine minutes of Kathleen Harris’ presentation at the September 16th Employer/Educator conference and an introduction for School to Career and provide this with other conference material on a CD Rom for conference participants. A copy of the CD-Rom was sent to the GOTR.

The focus of the OEDC conference was on the development of local resources and capabilities to realize Imperial Valley’s 2010 vision. The conference discussed the issues of smart growth and workforce training in an effort to better prepare local residents and decision makers for the dynamic changes over the next ten years. It was an opportunity for the public sector and the business community to work together on economic growth and quality of life issues.

We have established active community partnerships in our workforce development training programs. The ROP Superintendent is a member of the Workforce Investment Board and serves in collaboration between public and private partnerships as a means of training and retraining a workforce possessing the skills needed to compete in a global economy.

School to Career staff has been able to develop an ROP training program with U.S. Data Source, a Fortune 500 company that has 4 facilities in the U.S. and 1 abroad. U.S. Data Source handles all the billing for Blue Cross Insurance Company. Now located in the Imperial Valley, U.S. Data Source has already hired 40 people that have gone through the ROP training program. U.S. Data Source hope to have 70 hires by the end of December, 2001 and expects even more growth in their workforce.


Continue working closely with the OEDC and EC and participate with the chambers of commerce as well as other entities that are involved in economic and workforce development.

The economy of the Imperial Valley has the potential and the ingredients of fast economic expansion. The keys to its success will be a concerted and unified effort on the part of different segments of the community and the state’s willingness to meet its obligations to provide the citizens of the region with needed services, most notably education. If these two conditions are met, the Imperial Valley’s economy has the potential of having one of the highest, instead of the lowest, per capita income in the state.

Coordinate and work with the locally led efforts to elevate the standard of living and overall economic profile.






Together with partners – the Employment Development Department, CET, CalWorks, Workforce Investment Board, IVROP, and the One Stop, training for the new casino, Golden Acorn in Boulevard, CA will occur in the next few weeks. Approximately 650 personnel are needed for this casino and wages range from entry level of $8.80 to mid-management salary of $60,000.

  • Ensuring Access to the System

    A. For Out of School Youth

    Our School to Work plan is designed to address the needs of our high poverty at-risk students. It promotes the inclusion of all students whether they are college bound or out of school. Students are provided with a full array of options, which assist in their preparation for a wide range of career fields.

    This has been achieved in several ways. The Regional Occupational Program (ROP), one of our major partners, has a UROG-funded staff member who is stationed at the One-Stop Center in Calexico to meet with incoming youth including out-of-school youth. The ROP has also received WIA funds to work with all youth including out-of-school. Many out-of-school youth have been placed at paid work experience sites and others have begun attending class as part of an independent study program. This effort has been integrated with the School to Work system.

    We have also developed and established student internships where all students can experience real life work experience at local businesses. These opportunities have allowed out-of-school youth to re-engage themselves back into the educational process.

    STW efforts have created a greater awareness in out-of-school youth and the many options available to them. This has been done through outreach efforts at the continuation high school, one-stop center, Housing Authority, work with CalWORKS, faith-based organizations, Neighborhood House, the probation department and community schools. Out-of-school youth now realize that they have an opportunity to reenter school and/or receive services through a number of available avenues, such as independent study, adult education, CalWORKS program, teen mothers, Regional Occupational Programs, etc. We are seeing them enter GED programs, participate in the WIA youth program and locally funded Department of Social Service programs.

    B. For Youth in Alternative Schools/Settings

    To promote student achievement and maximize learning at all levels; strategies and methodologies that encourage applied teaching approaches will be incorporated. These methodologies and strategies include the application of knowledge across disciplines, integrated curriculum, non-traditional learning styles through hands-on activities and the application of real-world situations.

    Special speakers and presentations have been most effective with our alternative education students. For example, Donna Corvin, the Public Affairs Officer for the U.S. Navy recently spoke with all the students at Aurora High School. Donna is an excellent role model for the students in our community. Her passion for her work is always evident. She loves the opportunities that have been afforded to her because of her employer and wishes to share that message with all our UROG schools. Because of her influence, one student at Aurora High, made a life decision to focus on his future in the armed forces and leave the bad influence of people he had been hanging around with. He let Donna know that it was her words that turned him around.

    Donna Corvin was transferred from Imperial County, CA to the new aircraft carrier, the USS Ronald Reagan in Norfolk, Virginia June 16, 2001.

    Since our students at the Aurora Continuation School are not eligible for the Employability Certificate (due to attendance records and the minimum GPA), we are coordinating with the school staff to have the students prepare a personal career portfolio and shadow a career mentor.

    We will continue to provide job shadowing and internship opportunities for the students.

    We will increase the participation in the School to Career video production aspect of our program.

    C. For Low-Income Youth

    The population of Imperial County is extremely poor. According to the 1990 census, almost 24% of all residents were below the poverty level, compared to only 13.5% for California as a whole. The county’s per capita income was only $8,606, almost 40% below the corresponding statewide level. 23% of all Imperial County children live in single parent families. The county is a federally designated Enterprise Community.

    Rather than perpetuate young peoples’ feeling of segregation through an isolated project, we have built and enhanced upon the existing efforts of the framework and structure provided by the Imperial County Business/Education Coalition School to Career partnership. This project has allowed us to direct and concentrate resources through the creation of meaningful curricula and activities that will enable young people in most need to access School to Career opportunities and be prepared for high-wage, high-skill careers and higher education. Some of these activities include job shadow opportunities, student internships, career fairs, summer junior high school camp, teen conferences, special speakers and field trips.

    The Employability Certificate is an instrument that will increase the self-confidence of students.

    We plan to offer through our programs, opportunities for developing interview skills, communication skills, work ethics and cooperation. We will coordinate with other programs such as the Family Resource Center Collaborative to offer interview clothes, job coaches and transportation.

    D. For Low-Achieving Youth

    School to Career through its School to Career Education and Articulation Plan will ensure the coordination and integration of those components such as basic skills, thinking skills, and personal qualities, thereby increasing the student’s options for work opportunities.

    School to Career has impacted through direct classroom instruction and field trips to the One Stop center at the Employment Development Department in Calexico to prepare special needs students for meaningful employment after high school.

    We would like to institute some project based learning in the classroom. We plan to make this part of our in-service agenda with teachers and staff. School to Career would be able to provide opportunities for business and the classroom to develop a working partnership where both business and students are benefited.

    E. For Limited English Speakers

    In the targeted areas, 27% of our students are identified as migrant students and qualify for migrant services, including a work study program, which at present, makes no connection to what the student wants to do in the future. This program will be changed to help students make connections through job shadowing and other activities which prepare them for workplace requirements.

    We have been able to provide our limited English speakers with job shadowing opportunities. During our application process, we place them with an employer who will help guide them through their workday in English and Spanish. We also provided summer camp for the migrant education class at Heber School District and they participated in the field trips and attended the meetings with the special speakers who spoke in English and Spanish.

    All of the participating schools have an extensive bilingual program which includes primary language instruction (Spanish) in core classes, Sheltered English and English Language Development classes. These classes support the successful transition of Limited English Proficient students into the regular English program.

    Increase the numbers of Hispanic role models for our speaker’s bureau.

    F. Youth with Disabilities

    Calexico is served by the Family Resource Center which serves as a centralized service area for almost every public agency within the County. The Center works with the local school district, department of social services and other community service organizations to identify youth and others in need of services. Staff at each of the school sites is trained to effectively use this center and are encouraged to assist students to make self-referrals when necessary.

    Special education junior and senior high school students are provided with career awareness and exploration activities along with an opportunity to work through the county-wide Workability program.


    We will continue to work with our youth with disabilities and provide them with the resources available through School to Career.

    G. For Academically Talented Youth

    Provide School to Career recognition, medals and savings bonds to outstanding students in a specific career strand.

    School to Career (through the UROG grant) was able to honor students at each of our school sites at the special recognition ceremony at the Imperial Valley Expo. Parents were able to attend the special event with their children. The students received a certificate, a special medal and a $100.00 savings bond.

    We also have been able to offer the academically talented youth a chance to job shadow or intern in the career field that they are most interested in. Employers are interested in having students that are academically talented so they can participate in more responsible projects at the workplace. For instance, a student that shows academic promise in a particular area may be able to use and showcase their talent and possibly obtain part time or summer employment.

    We will continue our special recognition of those students that best exemplify the outstanding attributes connected to our School to Career program.

    As we begin our new year for School to Career, we plan to make this an agenda item for our in-service time with educators. We will be able to target students that will benefit from connecting with an employer that is in the same career field in which a student expresses interest.

    H. For Youth in Rural Areas

    The county is designated as a federal Rural Enterprise Community.

    The population of Imperial County is extremely poor. According to the 1990 census, almost 24% of all residents were below the poverty level, compared to only 13.5% for California as a whole. The county’s per capita income is almost 40% below the corresponding statewide level. 23% of all Imperial County children live in single parent families.

    Youth living in the tract zones experience a 40% poverty rate with a minority population of more than 85%.

    Consulted and coordinated activities with schools, community leaders and business.

    Provided opportunities for youth to take advantage of after school activities, such as after-school tutoring, using the computer lab or for older students or parents, taking a ROP computer class at the neighborhood school, such as Heber School District.


    Work with community members, school districts and agencies to build a sense of community. As the School Modernization Proposal initiative helps to repair and renovate existing schools, we hope to make our schools a community resource center. Our goal is to provide information and incentives that will create an environment of opportunity and hope for families and youth.

    I. For Young Women to Enter Non-Traditional Employment

    Our students are provided with a full array of options which assist in their preparation for a wide range of career fields. If we are to be successful, no student will be left out. School to Career gives all students numerous choices and opportunities through academics, career pathways and specialized courses of study. It also provides for the development of clear set of standards for skills that will enable our students to move successfully between school and work.

    School to Career was able to accomplish this through providing connecting activities for our students.

    One example was through the UROG funding, we provided the opportunities for our students and teachers to attend the Women’s Leadership Coalition program that is held during Women’s History month. This year on March 17th, we had three components to the program, Lead with your Heart, Lead with your Mind, and Lead with your Funny Bone.

    The Women’s Leadership Coalition is made up of women’s organizations seeking to increase the leadership in the Imperial County Community. Participating groups are: AAUW, Literacy Volunteers of America, Girl Scouts, Soroptimists, School to Career, MANA and Spectrum. WLC has had four successful years of providing leadership to young women in the Imperial Valley.


    We hope to help young women succeed in technical career paths such as in math and science, how to recruit them for male-intensive Tech Prep programs and how to retain them in nontraditional programs. Connecting activities are offered throughout the community in various ways and through various agencies and/or business. Time and coordination are needed to make the best use of these activities known to the school districts. With the technology that we now have, we are able to broadcast special events through several media components. One is through the ICOE sponsored Channel 99, another is through our regular weekly Fox-TV "Imperial Valley Kids News" program. Calexico High School also offers daily announcements through their audiovisual system.

    We will continue to exhibit at the Earth Day Festival each year and assist students and parents in thinking about careers in environmental studies.

  • Managing the System
  • A. Organizational Structure


    Imperial Valley Business/Education Coalition

    Coalition Chairperson

    School to Career Steering Committee (action teams include business leadership, occupational standards, curriculum and training, communications and marketing and operations)

    Fiscal Agent is County of Imperial

    UROG Partnership consists of an academic specialist who works with instructors and students to make education much more relevant and to improve academic skills. A community employer coordinator works to involve more employers in School to Career in order to provide increased opportunities to youth so that they are better prepared for work. The School to Career coordinator will work with students and staff at the participating school sites to assist with STC school-based activities.



    We will continue our organizational structure under the umbrella of the Imperial Valley Business/Education Coalition. This coalition also oversees the STC state grant functions of the Imperial County Office of Education.

    Currently, the IVBEC consists of nineteen (19) members who meet on the third Monday of each month at 4:00 P.M. in the Imperial County Office of Education conference room.

    B. System Evaluation, Data Collection, Continuous Improvement

    Our School to Career plan includes feasible, measurable goals and collection. A process component of the evaluation will focus on what the project does and how each task is accomplished. The outcome component will assess selected project outcomes. Data will be gathered throughout the project period. Data gathered during the initial few months will serve as a comparison baseline at project end. Observations and findings will be summarized and presented semi-annually to the Coalition. An annual review will be made and data will be compiled and statistical analyses will be made. A final evaluation report including a project history (process record) summary of findings (outcome record) and a synthesis of learning and recommendations will be made to the Coalition.

    The School to Career Coordinator and the Community Employer Coordinator monthly attend the meetings of the Imperial Valley Business/Education Coalition and report on the activities for their grant. We also provide handouts of materials for them to review and discuss.

    For the UROG staff, we recognize that is our responsibility to competently evaluate and document what we have learned so we can disseminate and replicate when appropriate. For these reasons, we identified ongoing evaluation as a priority goal. And all evaluations results will be coordinated with state and federal evaluation efforts. Our staff has attended presentations, workshops and staff development at the national, state and local levels.

    Continue to focus on the big picture of using various assessment methods in career education.





    Continue our communications process with other School to Career programs.

    C. Fiscal Management

    The County Administrative Office serves as lead agency and fiscal agent for this project.

    We have submitted our quarterly reports to the CAO office that forwards them to the Department of Labor.

    We invited the previous UROG Project Director to attend the Heber School District Career and speak to several classes on her knowledge of public administration.

    The CAO gave tours of their offices to some of our students.

    We will continue to work closely with the CAO representative and apprise them of our activities through official reports and other means of communication.

    We hope that they will be able to continue to participate in some of our School to Career activities, such as job shadowing and career fairs.

    D. Strategies to Make System Self-Sustaining

    Solicit input from the Coalition on development of School to Career plan.

    Continue to develop effective strategies for working with at-risk youth. Share developed strategies and material with other local and regional school districts.

    Through our efforts of the Overall Economic Development Commission, the Enterprise Community committee and the Workforce Investment Board, we share the responsibility to create an environment, which supports teamwork and innovative new partnerships. The partnership approach with School to Career has given way to a better understanding of the interrelationship of Imperial County’s physical, social, economic and environmental strengths and weaknesses.

    Our partnerships with McDonalds Restaurants, Wal-Mart, Western Auto, U.S. Immigration, U.S. Border Patrol, City of Calexico Police Department, Imperial Irrigation District, Clinicas de Salud, the Calexico Chamber of Commerce and many others have been valuable to their programs/businesses as well as ours.

    We have developed a Speakers Bureau database that we will continue to use for the schools to call upon when they need a special speaker in a particular area.

    The partnership has selected three key features essential to the sustainability of STW. These features include: 1) increased career awareness and career exploration for both youth and their parents; 2) a marketing campaign; and 3) economic development. The increased awareness and exploration will further promote student and parent STW/STC so that it is seen as a regular part of the curriculum and not just something throw in.


    We are currently looking for funding for a marketing campaign to reach more employers, parents and educators. The campaign would include television, radio ads, billboards, and continue the publication of the newsletter.

    Our concept of partnership and sustainability is simple, work together instead of pulling apart. We will go beyond our direct supporters and include any groups, organization or agencies in our mission. We will be a catalyst to the efforts of other effective organizations. This will be accomplished by working together (as in an educator/employer conference) to define our common vision and goals, purpose, the timeline, our existing resources, gaps in resources, ways to reduce unemployment through education.

    One way to accomplish this is through our vision of developing a system of using the Calexico Chamber’s database to involve their members in educational programs. We plan to meet with the Calexico High School technology department to ascertain the feasibility of their organizing the facets for this software development. The database would list the members that are interested in different aspects of School to Career and list them on their contact information. STC activities would include student

    internships, teacher internships, mentoring, speaker’s bureau, employer conferences, and career fairs.

    The result will be a broad-based coalition built on trust and common goals, not whether each player has a vested interest. A common thread to our sustainability is an idea that cooperation will bring dividends for every partner, especially as we view our long-term goals and strategies for School to Career.

    A marketing campaign would reach employers and other business members who are not aware of STW.

    Economic development is essential to our distressed community because it would provide for the creation of jobs which provides the foundation for residents to become economically self-sufficient and communities to help themselves. This is the backbone of the coordinated strategy of the EZ/EC Initiative for growth and revitalization in our community.