Monterey Bay hosts Kern CTEC workforce training center exchange

Monterey Bay DART in collaboration with the Monterey Bay Economic Partnership (MBEP) hosted a visiting delegation from the Kern Career Technical Education Campus (CTEC) for an education and awareness raising exchange, tour and seminar. Kern CTEC Principal Brian Miller provided a presentation on the origins, process, and ongoing outcomes of the Kern High School District expansion of their leading edge career technical education program and facilities. Monterey Bay regional education and workforce training entities and employers that participated included Cabrillo College, UC Santa Cruz, CSU Monterey Bay, Monterey County Economic Development, Learning For Life Charter School, and Joby Aviation.

The Kern CTEC presentation covered the various educational and career opportunities available to students through the Kern High School CTEC program. CTEC stands for Career Technical Education Center, and it offers high school students a chance to learn technical skills and gain hands-on experience in a variety of industries, including agriculture, automotive technology, construction, and healthcare. The participants exchanged lessons learned, ideas and recommendations for a possible Monterey Bay regional workforce training facility to meet current and expanding skills demand in DART-related sectors.

Mr. Miller emphasized the importance of CTEC in preparing students for the modern workforce, stating that it provides a direct pathway to careers in high-demand fields that offer good salaries and job security. He also highlighted the partnerships between Kern High School District and local businesses, which provide students with real-world experience and opportunities for internships and job shadowing. “Sharing and learning from other regions has been an instrumental part of our expansion. Collectively we have the opportunity to do amazing things.” said Brian Miller, Kern CTEC Principal.

The presentation also touched on the role of higher education institutions in supporting CTEC programs. Representatives from Cabrillo College, UC Santa Cruz, CSU Monterey Bay, and Joby Aviation discussed their existing partnerships and the ways in which they support CTEC students, whether through dual enrollment programs, college scholarships, or job placement.

“We are pleased to support inter-regional collaborations and cross-pollination of ideas and best practices to advance future-relevant workforce training and education. The Kern CTEC is a leading edge case study in this arena, demonstrating the value of community alignment on big ideas, and setting the stage for the youth in our communities to succeed in the modern world. We will continue bringing the best ideas from around the State to share with the Monterey Bay community.” said Josh Metz, Monterey Bay DART Executive Director.

Overall, the presentation was informative and highlighted the valuable role that CTEC programs play in preparing students for successful careers. Attendees were encouraged to be inpired by the Kern CTEC example, support and advocate for CTEC programs in the Monterey Bay region and to explore opportunities for partnerships with local businesses and educational institutions. Joby Aviation hosted a tour of their prototype advanced manufacturing line at the Marina Municipal Airport.