CMTA visits career tech high school that provides dropouts with skills and a future

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, March 23, 2012 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

According to the “Alliance for Excellent Education”, 1000 recovered high school dropouts will earn an additional $15 million each year and generate $1.8 million in state and local revenues.

California's high school dropout rates are over 30 percent.  This places a tremendous burden on our students, our families, and our economy.

The state's career technical education (CTE) curriculum has been in decline for the last two decades, leaving too many students without opportunities for success. More than 75 percent of all California high school students enrolled in a vocational or CTE course in 1987. Now only 29 percent are enrolled in a CTE course because the state's educational institutions continue to drop these critical hands-on programs at a rapid pace.

Meanwhile, as you know, California manufacturers struggle to find skilled workers and are at a competitive disadvantage with other more vocationally focused states.

For this reason, last week, CMTA visited an impressive success story that provides an alternative to the state's traditional institutions. SIATech (School for Integrated Academics & Technologies) is a public charter "dropout recovery" school in partnership with the Sacramento Jobs Corps Center.

At SIATech, previous high school dropout students earn living wage job skills, greatly improved math and language skills, and a fully accredited high school diploma. All while living on campus.  SIATech is a state-standards aligned high-tech curriculum that teaches 21st century skills in a blended learning environment. The institution has graduated 11,064 students since 1998 and continues to grow opportunities for working families and many industries in the region.

The school focuses on the following industries: construction, finance and business, health care, homeland security, hospitality, information technology, renewable energy, transportation, and retail sales and services.

 SIATech programs and others like it, need the manufacturing community's support and regional interest.

If you or your company would like to learn more about SIATech please contact the program's director Ernie Silva at ernie.silva@siatech.org or 916-712-9087.

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