A unique partnership among Santa Barbara County high schools is competing for a $6 million Pathways Trust grant that could reshape technical education in our region.
Santa Barbara, Dos Pueblos, San Marcos and La Cuesta high schools are among 40 entrants for some 15 grants being offered through the California Department of Education to enhance science and technology training in secondary schools.
Rather than reinventing the wheel, the high schools are hoping to draw on their strengths — including computer science at Santa Barbara, engineering at Dos Pueblos and construction technology at all four — to dramatically expand internship opportunities and improve curricula.
Leading the effort is Matt Laband, who is head of development for the Royal Pride Foundation, affiliated with San Marcos High School.
The application will be far more competitive if it includes letters of support from major companies and employers in the region, including commitments for matching funds over a five year period.
While we have some reservations about whether even the most successful training will produce jobs that can support a family on the South Coast in the absence of a sustained effort to expand the supply of housing, this is absolutely an essential step forward.
If you or your business would like to support this effort you can reach Laband at firstname.lastname@example.org or (805) 967-4581 ext. 5562.