Education luncheon

Prominent business, government, labor, and education leaders will convene to discuss “The New Economy: Changing the Way Education Works,” presented by the East County Business-Education Alliance and Kaiser Permanente, 11:30 am – 1:30 pm, Friday, Dec 3 at Lone Tree Event Center, Canyon Oak Room, 4800 Golf Course Road in Antioch.

Panelists will include Donald Gill, Superintendent of the Antioch Unified School District and Chair of the East County Business-Education Alliance, Janet Auer from Chevron, Alan Ichikawa from Dow Chemical Company, and Carolyn Nelson, Dean of Education and Allied Studies, CSU East Bay. Youth Intervention Network founder and co-chair Iris Archuleta, from the firm of Emerald Consulting, will serve as panel moderator.

Also included in the program will be Richard Livingston, acting President of Los Medanos College and Stephen Baiter, Director of the Contra Costa Workforce Development Board.

This luncheon forum will highlight local best practices, including career-themed pathways and career-integrated academics that link learning to real-world applications to inspire more high school youth to stay and succeed in school; prepare them with strong, sustainable and market-demanded skills; connect them to high wage, high skill, high growth careers; and help them effectively transition to college or other post high school education and training..

Some of the questions we wish to address include:

How must we transform education to engage young people with vibrant, experiential, interactive learning? What will it take to apply best practices to K-12 education environments to improve student performance and achievement for 21st century careers? What steps is AUSD taking to create high performing schools and what are the implications for students, teachers, parents, the community, and private industry? How can we more strongly connect K-12 with 2- and 4-year community colleges, graduate and research work, and career opportunities? How can we build stronger “cradle to career” linked learning pathways to improve low student retention and graduation rates? Is the education community adapting to the rapid changes as quickly as it could?

The East County Business-Education Alliancedevelops business – education partnerships and strategies that support and equip students for life, post-secondary education and careers in order to benefit East County youth and their families. In addition, the Alliance works to provide and promote opportunities for students to develop career awareness, workplace experience, and life skills.

According to Keith Archuleta, consultant and director of the Alliance, “quality education and workforce development are central to the economic vitality and quality of life in any community. We are definitely not waiting for superman. Our community will not continue to allow disengagement to cause too many students to fail or drop out of school. High schools and higher education must be better connected with industry to ensure that all students gain the knowledge and skills critical for success in both college and careers. This means that education must focus on providing rigor and relevance connected to real people doing real things in the local economy.”

In order to engage students and address California’s dropout crisis, the Alliance hopes to create, expand and promote linked learning educational pathways that involve business and industry, blend academic rigor and real-world learning to inspire more youth to stay and succeed in school, and provide necessary teacher professional development that helps teachers provide career-integrated education that prepares high school students to effectively transition to college and career.

“We are all too familiar with the challenge facing school systems throughout the United States on how to provide students at all levels with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in school, work, and life in the increasingly global and competitive 21st century,” says Archuleta. “In today’s knowledge and innovation-based economy, the skills necessary for success in the workplace have converged with those needed for success in college.”

Sponsorships of this event are available to assist the Alliance in developing and implementing its mission and vision for East County. In addition, individual tickets may be purchased for $50. For more information, please call 925-755-9291 or e-mail Keith Archuleta at

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