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 Group Discusses Future of Career Technical Education

Career technical education officials from throughout the region met Wednesday to talk about the future for educators and students and ways to better prepare students for in-demand careers.

The goal was to begin discussions about an action plan that will focus on the best ways to deliver career technical education in the area and to ensure that the programs are aligned with the needs of local businesses, said Steve Pinning, senior director of the San Diego County Office of Education’s Regional Occupational Programs (ROP) unit.

“We think this is really career technical education’s time to shine,” Pinning said.

The ROP unit organized the meeting at the County Office of Education's main campus. The gathering included personnel from school districts, community college districts, adult education programs, and the San Diego Workforce Partnership and representatives from the Economic Development Council.

Among the many ideas shared, participants said they thought educators should work to start career exploration in elementary school, to encourage more involvement from businesses, and to start a regional career technical website.

The next step will be for smaller workgroups to come together to develop more specific plans for collaboration.

Participants also discussed ways to work together to find and use grant money.

"Let's do it as a region," said Mary Wylie, chairwoman of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Regional Consortium of community colleges.