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County Funding Supports Development of 21st Century Job Skills

SAN JOSE – The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors approved a one-time grant to the Metropolitan Education District (MetroED) to establish two new Career Technical Education (CTE) programs — one to support the growing demand for health care workers in Santa Clara County, and another to address the growing demand for service in the electric vehicle market.

With this County support, MetroED will develop a new nursing science program focused on preparing students to work in long-term care facilities, hospitals, home health, and other patient care facilities. MetroED will also move forward with the conversion of an existing traditional automotive services program into one focused on electric vehicles – a program designed to prepare future automotive technicians to work on both types of vehicles.

“We know we have a critical nursing shortage, and we know electric vehicles are a rapidly growing share of the automotive market. So investing in these two programs provides a great return on investment,” said County Supervisor Joe Simitian, who sponsored funding for the programs. “By focusing on these fields, MetroED is creating a pipeline to 21st-century jobs. It’s good for the students and it’s good for our local economy.”

The largest career-oriented education organization in Santa Clara County for high school and adult students, MetroED’s Silicon Valley Career Technical Education (SVCTE) program provides career technical education for high school students (and adult students, on a space-available basis) from a half dozen local school districts: Campbell Union High School District; East Side Union High School District; Los Gatos-Saratoga Union High School District; Milpitas Unified School District; San Jose Unified School District; and Santa Clara Unified School District. MetroED currently serves 1,100 students.

The County’s support enables MetroED to hire an instructor and purchase essential equipment, such as diagnostic sets and blood pressure simulators, for a brand-new nursing science course. This academically rigorous program will enable students to complete college preparatory courses in partnership with local community colleges as a “guided pathways” course and pipeline to Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN), and Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) courses. This coursework is designed to motivate students to pursue further professional nursing paths beyond a two-year degree, including obtaining an RN, BSN, MSN, DNP, and Ph.D.

“On behalf of the MetroED Governing Board, we are honored by the support and interest from the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors in our Career Technical Education programs. It will make a real difference in the lives of so many students throughout our County,” said Katherine Tseng, a member of the MetroED Governing Board (and the Los Gatos-Saratoga High School District school board). “Our County leaders truly understand the value of our programs in providing essential workers for our local community.”

The County funding also enables MetroED to convert its traditional Automotive Services program into a modern and updated Electrical Vehicle (EV) program. Funds will be used to develop a curriculum in self-driving vehicles, EV powertrain conversions, and computerized e-learning of future technology, including electric bicycles. Funding will also support the conversion of a new classroom where students will have an opportunity to build electric vehicles. Both the state and federal governments have signaled they want to transition to electric cars.

"MetroED is beyond grateful for the County’s investment in our programs and students,” said Alyssa Lynch, Superintendent of MetroED. “The County’s support will help us grow our local nursing workforce and create a much-needed pipeline of technicians trained in electric vehicle technology to help our local businesses.”

Simitian called MetroED, “One of our County’s best-kept secrets in job training and economic development.”