Creating Seamless School-to-Career Transitions

Data from the National Center for Education Statistics shows that students are more likely to fall through the cracks in the transitions between high school, college and career. The Bay Area Council’s Workforce of the Future team has been exploring creative solutions to this problem throughout the Bay Area, partnering with experts like Claire Fisher and her team at The Arena Inc. They’re working on a model that involves a two-sided marketplace: serving families and students on one side to build meaningful, stable lives with academic and career pathways while at the same time working with employers on the other to create local, diverse talent pipelines.

The Arena team works to create seamless school-to-career transitions by bringing together stakeholders to help students complete an Associate’s degree within one year of graduating high school, gain meaningful work experience, and preserve the option of later pursuing a Bachelor’s degree. This past August, the first group of students successfully completed a summer immersion program to begin their Arena fellowship. Twenty-one East Oakland high school seniors participated in career exploration, professional skills-building, and individualized coaching with several employer partners including Bay Area Council members LinkedIn and The Oakland Athletics.

Throughout the next year, those students will continue to attend high school while concurrently being enrolled in college, before being matched with an apprenticeship beginning next summer. We look forward to following the promising journeys of these students! To learn more or partner on this or other apprenticeship programs, please contact Senior Vice President of Public Policy, Linda Bidrossian.

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