Workforce Essentials: Game helps kids fight trolls, citizen army teaches them to read

580 200 Leah Grassini Moehle

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Google teaches kids to “Be Internet Awesome!”

At this point, our top technology positions could seemingly be filled by 10-year olds — maybe even younger. The “centennial” generation or Generation Z will never know a time without the Internet and social media. Still, making sure our kids know how to use technology in a safe and productive way is a responsibility of current generations.

To make younger generations “Internet Awesome,” Google's new game Interland aims to help them become safe explorers online and teach the fundamentals of digital citizenship, coding, securing important information, talking to an adult about questionable encounters, and also the old, but still useful rule of “If you don’t have something nice to say – don’t say anything at all.”

We live in a world where Twitter fueled the last presidential election, terrorists are looking to social media to recruit from across the globe, and hackers everywhere are looking for personal information and any opportunities to take advantage.

On top of all that, the economy and the times they are a-changin' – let’s prepare our young people to thrive in a high-tech world. Hacker labs are popping up everywhere. The movement has begun. 

Play your way to Internet Awesome by exploring the Interland.


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Do you know about all of the opportunities in Career Education? Well, you’re about to

On July 20, California Community Colleges are launching a new campaign to raise awareness among students, parents, counselors, employers and others about career pathways available through training programs that are affordable, lead to good-paying jobs, and can be completed in a short timeframe.

The Career Education Rebranding and Marketing Campaign is an important piece of 25 recommendations created by a Colleges' task force convened with one goal: close the skills gap employers say is a barrier to filling existing jobs.

The campaign will seek to rebrand CTE programs through media relations, employer communications, and social media and community outreach, and more strategies.

Come to the Launch Event and find updates related to the Career Education rebranding efforts.


(Photo Credit: Violeta Vaqueiro)

More than half of our students unable to read at grade level – Grassroots group in Chico wouldn’t stand for that

With an ambitious goal to get every child reading at grade level by the 7th grade, the Chico Stewardship Network launched Reading Pals with a distinct but pivotal twist — it’s citizen driven! 

The Chico Stewardship Network has been working hard to increase the amount and quality of citizen engagement in their community. As a true network—working without any traditional organizational structure—Chico has witnessed a “citizen army” of volunteers coming out to help all students regain confidence in their reading and academic capabilities.

Reading Pals is a partnership between Chico’s school districts, the community, and business.  Chico’s superintendent is even a tutor in the program. Currently in four schools, the partnership hopes to bring the program into twelve schools soon and is starting in the neighboring community of Paradise this fall. 

Using an easy-to-follow curriculum, volunteer tutors meet with their students for two 30-minute sessions a week. Currently focused on the grades 2-4, the program hopes to expand, eventually offering a “peer pals” component in middle school to hold students and schools accountable for maintaining the reading skills. 

With a track-record of moving students up an entire grade level after only 26 hours of one-on-one tutoring, the potential for this program to have a significant impact on the lives of Butte County’s children and families is inevitable and already happening. Chico is seeing some incredible results since starting the program in 2013.

The Chico Stewardship Network is hoping to release a Playbook for Implementing Reading Pals this winter…Stay tuned!

Live in the Chico area—Interesting in becoming a volunteer? It’s easy. Check it out.



Apprenticeships are definitely in style—with the Federal Government, California’s Governor, and reality TV shows.

Governor Jerry Brown is supporting the job-training model of the California Apprenticeship Initiative (CAI) by making it a priority as part of the State’s efforts to add one million more skilled workers to California’s economy over the next decade.

An additional $15 million – on top of the $30 million invested in the last two years – has been added to the CAI in the 2017-2018 State Budget

Apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeship training programs are a great way for students to engage with employers, gain practical work experience, and refine technical skills for the diverse array of highly skilled occupations available in all of California’s regions. 

Apprenticeships are often a combination of training at the workplace combined with relevant academic instruction, both preferably taught by the field practitioner. The state is obviously looking at experiential and applied learning as a lever to better prepare students for the workforce and a tactic for closing the skills gap.

With the largest apprenticeship system in the nation, California’s model is helping workers become more competitive in today’s economy and job market. Most think of apprenticeships as a training strategy for young adults, however it can also be used to train new worker or current employees who need to learn a new skill or advance an existing one.

Work-based learning can also help workers stay ahead of technological advances in any sector. Not only to stay ahead, but to master a new method, instrument or machine to create only the highest quality product in the most efficient way. And apprenticeships will continue to play an important role in building a strong workforce for California, thanks to continued investment in people like this one.

Leah Grassini Moehle is Program Manager of the California Economic Summit's Workforce Challenge


Leah Grassini Moehle

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