On Tuesday, Feb. 25, San Bernardino City Unified School District (SBCUSD) and East Valley Water District (EVWD) cut the ribbon on a new water and resource management career pathway at Indian Springs High School.
The new career prep program was created out of a partnership between the school district and water district that is linked to the development of EVWD’s Sterling Natural Resource Center water recycling plant now under construction across Sixth Street from the high school.
The program increases SBCUSD’s career pathways to more than 50 career fields and aims to develop the future workforce for EVWD and other local water districts.
SBCUSD Superintendent Dale Marsden pointed out that the water industry offers good paying careers and is poised for increased demand, noting that 40 percent of EVWD’s workforce is capable of retiring.
“He needs good people, and what do we have? Good people,” Marsden said.
“What our districts have in common is an understanding for the need to make investments in the future,” said EVWD General Manager John Mura.
“We want to strive to have partnerships with our local youth so we can ensure education and opportunity for good paying jobs in this community. We’re only as good as our employees and we’re going to start right here with these fine individuals,” Mura added.
Marsden said partnerships that bring employers to the education system are key to fixing the gap in what schools are doing to prepare students for employment and what businesses need from their workforce.
“This is an economic development strategy this is a transformation for public education in America, for what is the purpose of our system if not to equip kids to be successful in the real world,” Marsden said.
“This is what’s going to help us continue to grow,” said SBCUSD Board President Gwendolyn Dowdy-Rogers, speaking of the San Bernardino community. “This is what we need to make a home and future for our students.”
EVWD crews attended the ceremony and helped stir student excitement for the program with tours of their various tools and equipment.
Twelve students began the pathway in the fall semester taking San Bernardino Valley College’s “Introduction to Water Resource Management” course at the high school.
During the course, students learn industry terms, names of equipment, math formulas and water quality science and regulations.
Beginning the fall of 2020, the pathway will be a four-year program with freshmen taking “Solving water problems through integrated science,” sophomores taking “Water works – Next generation careers in the water industry,” juniors taking “Get in the water-Careers with a future” and seniors taking “Geographical information systems (GIS) for the water industry-Mapping our resources.”
Afterschool SBVC college courses will also be offered each semester. These courses will lead to students earning a Water Supply Technology Certificate.