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The Silicon Valley Connection
Workforce Incubator, a program of the Los Altos Community Foundation, is chartered to prepare students in grades 9-16 for rewarding careers in the global economy.

Focusing on high-impact, high-demand, high-skill career fields, Workforce Incubator brings industry expertise and applications into the classroom. It builds upon a number of models for career-relevant learning that were pioneered by the Gates Foundation, the Irvine Foundation, and others. Specific objectives are:

Prepare students for success in the global economy, such that their careers provide the opportunity for personal satisfaction and financial well-being, supported by a passion for lifelong learning.

Equip teachers to deliver increasingly career-relevant learning experiences to students, assisted by the commitment of expertise and resources by industry partners.

Meet required education standards with greater ease through enriched curricula and powerful learning modes afforded by industry partnerships.

Develop a highly-skilled workforce to satisfy increasingly sophisticated industry functions and heightened requirements for innovation and productivity.

Workforce Incubator convenes and facilitates a Coalition of leaders in industry and education who choose to work together to amplify career relevance for high school and post-secondary school students.

The Coalition is encouraged to build on common existing programs and relationships, such as expanding career speaker programs, career fairs, internships, job shadowing. The Coalition may also explore more proactive steps, such as developing project-based learning, career-specific curricula, career academies and curricular pathways, aptitude assessments, job skill certification programs, and/or small high schools.

Founded in 2007, Workforce Incubator launched its pilot program in the Tri-Valley cities of Dublin, Livermore, and Pleasanton. Its initial goal is to help provide high-impact career-relevant learning experiences to some 3,000 students in the 2008-09 school year. Seven innovative projects are currently underway in support of this goal.

In looking to the South Bay area, Workforce Incubator seeks to build to a local coalition to identify common goals, identify and facilitate programs, and advise on all aspects of the program. This coalition could include: business leaders, public school superintendents, county superintendent, ROP superintendent, community college presidents, deans of four-year colleges, and community leaders.

Workforce Incubator is led by Jim Caldwell, a retired business executive who brings his marketing and communication expertise developed from years in the high tech industry.

For more information, please contact Jim Caldwell directly: jcaldwell@workforceincubator.org.

More information on the Los Altos Community Foundation.