According to the San Diego Workforce Partnership, despite the growing number of jobs available in San Diego County, employers still have difficulty finding qualified workers to fill highly technical positions in the region. These jobs are typically defined as “middle-skill” because they require an associate degree or less; however, only skilled labor with extensive training can fill these positions. Aware of this opportunity gap, the San Marcos Unified School District (SMUSD) Career Technical Education (CTE) programs are meeting the demand to expose students to career possibilities in a wide array of job sectors. Taking CTE one step further, The San Marcos Promise is developing business partnerships to provide funding to support programs and scholarships to assist students in pursuing technical training beyond high school.
In partnership with local business leaders, The San Marcos Promise has established the Career Tech Ed Promise Scholarship to assist graduating SMUSD students acquire the necessary technical training to fill the growing vacancies in our “middle-skill” job sector. Upon graduation, students will attend one of the approved institutions to pursue a certificate of achievement, certificate of proficiency, or apprenticeship to prepare them for the workforce.
Many of the community college programs have articulation agreements with current CTE coursework provided at SMUSD high schools. As a result, students can explore these occupations in high school and seamlessly continue their technical education at a local community college upon graduation. Providing scholarships to students interested in pursuing skilled work will help meet the demands of the North County workforce and create opportunities for students choosing not to attend a four-year school.
Each year, ten students will be selected to receive the Career Tech Ed Promise, a $1,000 scholarship to pursue a Certificate of Achievement, Certificate of Proficiency, Associates Degree, or Occupational / Noncredit Program at Palomar College or Mira Costa College. Scholars will be acknowledged at Senior Awards Night in May and receive scholarship payment upon successful enrollment at a qualified higher education institution in the fall immediately following graduation. Awards are not based on household income or financial need.