We’ve received word this week that OC Pathways, the countywide initiative that’s working to expand career pathways for students from kindergarten through college, has a new partner.
OpTerra Energy Services, a national leader in alternative energy solutions, is joining the effort by sponsoring 10 paid summer STEM internships for high school students in the Santa Ana Unified School District. It’s part of the company’s continued focus on building educational opportunities and workforce development strategies.
Expect to hear more details on this partnership in the weeks and months ahead. Meanwhile, if this is the first you’re hearing of OC Pathways, here’s a little background.
Last year, the state Department of Education awarded the Orange County Department of Education and Saddleback College a $15 million grant to establish clear educational pathways capable of guiding OC students to rewarding careers, regardless of their academic and socio-economic levels. That led to the launch of the collaborative initiative known as OC Pathways, which includes educators, business partners and community leaders.
The goal is for students to participate in career exploration and on-the-job training as they pursue certificates, associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees and even advanced degrees in three target sectors — health care and biotechnology; engineering, advanced manufacturing and design; and information communication technology and digital media. Courses will be optimally sequenced and rigorous, matching those within the traditional university system, and they’ll incorporate STEM fields, as well as California’s state standards, career technical education standards and industry needs.
At last count, OC Pathways comprises 14 school districts, nine community colleges, two major universities, four ROPs, three Workforce Investment Boards, numerous community partners and more than 100 businesses.
And now you can add OpTerra Energy Solutions to the list.