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Career and Technical Education

is for all students

San Mateo County Office of Education provides support meeting the CTE needs of all our students.  We work towards aligning students needs with local industry helping support CTE programs within the schools.

CTE Steering Committee Meeting 3/10/16


“The first CTE Steering Committee meeting was very successful.  This meeting hosted over 20 Industry Partners, Workforce Development as well as educators from both the County Office of Education as well as the high school districts.  The basic message from our presenters was “the future is now”.  We learned about the myriad of new career opportunities our region offers from the emerging water industry to the new  advanced technology in the auto industry, to the biotech and high tech industries.  It is imperative to have business and industry’s knowledge, informing education of new advancements and changes in the workforce.  Along with technical skills and knowledge every industry representative spoke about the need to teach “soft” or 21st Century Essential skills to all students.  We look forward to our next meeting, September 22, 2016.”

Success in the New Economy

According to Dr. Kevin Fleming his six step model to help students become more “career intelligent” include the following:

  1.  Self-Exploration.  Students should ask themselves, “What do I love to do? As well as “What am I good at doing?”
  2. Career Exploration.  Students should explore “What can I get paid to do?” and “What occupations/industries are a high priority and are emerging?”
  3. Verify your career goal alignment with your personality and skills.
  4. Set a tentative career goal.
  5. Education and Training Research.  Investigate and verify the multiple paths to your initial goa (work experience, job shadowing, interviews, apprenticeships)
  6. Establish an educational plan. 

Please also watch his 9 minute video “Success in the New Economy”--interesting new perspectives to ponder.




C+C=S: Communication and Collaboration Equals Synergy

Dr. Vera Jacobson-Lundeberg's Presentation


Click Here

Powerpoint Presentation 2016.ppt


"This 60 minute workshop is designated to teach two of the most important 21st Century skills: communication and collaboration.  Based on the presenter's own research and practice, participants will learn how to synthesize various communication strategies.  This interactive session teaches how to build knowledge and confidence in their own ability to effectively teach communication and collaboration skills.  The participants will leave with lessons designed to embed communication and collaboration into any curriculum."




Straight From High School to a Career


Graduate with plug.jpg

Credit Loris Lora


CANDIDATES from both parties have been talking a lot about the loss of American jobs, declining wages and the skyrocketing cost of college.

But missing from the debate is the fact that there are hundreds of thousands of “middle skill” jobs in the United States that are — or soon will be — going unfilled because of a dearth of qualified workers. Employers complain that electricians, pipe fitters, advanced manufacturing machinists, brick masons and radiology technicians are scarce. More than 600,000 jobs remain open in the manufacturing sector alone. These are jobs that provide a middle-class wage without a traditional four-year college degree.

American high schools once offered top-notch vocational and apprenticeship training, preparing young people for jobs like these. But over the last 70 years, our commitment to such education has waxed and waned, reflecting the country’s ambivalence about the role of school in preparing young people for employment and the value of blue-collar work itself. Progressives have argued that technical education tracks low-income and minority youths toward second-class citizenship; hence they often advocate “college for all.”

Over the past decade or so, however, there has been a move among educators and policy makers to reinvigorate vocational education, now rebranded as career and technical education. Some schools have been extraordinarily effective; others are struggling. If we are to offer young Americans options that are readily available to their counterparts in countries like Germany, we need to figure out what makes for success.

Pickens County Career and Technology Center in Liberty, S.C., is an example of a school that works. In the machine technology shop, students program computers to make plastic molds. In a commercial kitchen, aspiring chefs prepare multicourse meals. The school also offers training in health sciences, mechatronics, masonry, electrical work, carpentry, mechanical design and more. Many students spend half their day at their regular high school and half at the career center. According to the director, Ken Hitchcock, many come from low-income families in which neither parent has a college degree.

The center has an informal partnership with a group of local industry leaders, known as Manufacturers Caring for Pickens County. They help the guidance counselors understand exactly what each business needs, in order to better advise their students. Local companies like Cornell Dubilier and BMW have also helped the school by donating scrap steel, or old robots that they have phased out.

Mr. Hitchcock says that about 60 percent of graduates go on to local technical colleges, while 15 percent head off to four-year colleges, mostly in the health sciences. The rest get jobs, aided by the industry certificates they have earned.

The situation for students attending Automotive High School in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, is less encouraging. Until the 1980s, Automotive, a child of the New Deal, shone as a training ground for thousands of young people who would go on to become technicians in the auto industry.

But funding was cut in the 1990s, and the school was forced to jettison some of its shop classes and focus instead on preparation for Regents exams. It also did away with its entrance examination. With these changes came increasing numbers of students who had little interest in cars.

These troubles have led to a precipitous decline in enrollment, particularly among stronger students. Several industry supporters — some of which had donated funds and even vehicles in the past — walked away as well.

And yet dedicated teachers at Automotive are still keen on helping the students they have acquire the skills and industry certifications they need to get jobs. Teachers told us that graduates consistently find employment as mechanics for city fleets or in private auto repair shops.

Vocational programs face structural obstacles when the industries they train for hit a downturn, as automobile manufacturing did. But even those that are training for profitable industries have to contend with inadequate budgets that translate into obsolete equipment, insufficient support for teacher training in new technologies and inconsistent connections to industry, which render them less able to stay current with the skills in demand.


They also struggle against stigma, as the “college for all” campaign gets louder, prompting an increased emphasis on standardized testing that takes time away from relevant learning and serves as an inadequate measure of what students know and, by extension, how effective schools are.

We can do better, and we need to if we are going to compete against countries that are pouring funding into first-rate training. We should pay vocational teachers to spend their summers updating their experience in their industry of expertise, and make it easier for people who have worked in industry to become teachers themselves. We should also define high standards for vocational education and attach real apprenticeship opportunities to it.

Finally, we should push our political leaders to make a long-term commitment to technical training for high school and community college students. Of the presidential candidates, John Kasich has been particularly vocal on this issue; some 120,000 high school students are enrolled in some type of vocational program in Ohio.

We can no longer afford to recycle a lukewarm commitment to this kind of training only when economic crises befall us.

Katherine S. Newman, the provost of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and Hella Winston, a senior fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, are the authors of “Reskilling America: Learning to Labor in the 21st Century.”

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A version of this op-ed appears in print on April 15, 2016, on page A27 of the New York edition with the headline: From High School Straight to a Career. Today's Paper|Subscribe


The Next Revolution in the Auto Industry




Image: REUTERS/Mark Blinch
A Chevrolet Bolt EV electric vehicle

Vera Lundeberg New Picture.jpg


Vera Jacobson-Lundeberg, Ed.D.


(650) 598-2007

Dr. Jacobson-Lundeberg is passionate about aligning student Career and Technical Education needs with the needs of industry within San Mateo County’s K-14 education system.  She obtained a doctorate with a focus on empowering students using 21st Century Skills. She has published her research findings in the International Vocational and Education (IVETA) Journal and California Association of Professors of Educational Administration (CAEPA), “Pedagogical Implementation of 21st Century Skills.  She has created workshops for teachers, given talks at local, state, national and international conferences, lobbied at both state and federal levels, was the fellow for California’s CTE Professional organization and participated in the year-long Leadership for Development Institute (LDI) creating a new CTE delivery design for California’s K-12 Educational system.

What is CTE? 
It is an education system that combines rigorous academic classes with industry specific knowledge and skills to prepare students both for direct entry into industry sectors and postsecondary education.