According to a recent Brookings Metropolitan Export Initiative study, more than 113,000 jobs are supported by trade activities in San Diego. Additionally, trade-related jobs have been found to pay 13 – 18% more than the national average. Trade is an important economic driver that creates high wage jobs, however, it is not uncommon for students, particularly at the high school level, to be unaware of the opportunities in this field. One reason for this is that high school students are rarely exposed to global concepts. In an effort to change that, the Deputy Sector Navigator for Global Trade & Logistics and the San Diego CITD, in partnership with the SB1070 CTE Regional Pathways Project, hosted a workshop for high school teachers in the region with the goal of developing global trade curriculum that can be incorporated into core academic classes, such as math, social studies, science, etc.
The workshop was kicked off with a presentation by San Diego CITD Director and Deputy Sector Navigator for Global Trade and Logistics, Victor Castillo, on what global trade is and its economic impact in San Diego. Jewyl Clarke, a teacher at Eastlake High School who helped coordinate the event, discussed the goals for the workshop before Gus Koehler, president of Time Structures – a policy research and advising firm based in Sacramento – gave a keynote presentation on how global trade fuels economic development. The workshop participants were then grouped by academic subject for brainstorming sessions. Each group was paired with industry professionals who provided insight and helped make the connections between academics and real-world application.
The information gleaned from the breakout sessions will help the teachers develop ideas for case studies and trade-related curriculum modules that can be incorporated into their classes to provide a more engaging and contextualized learning experience to their students, while at the same time creating awareness of rewarding career paths in a growing industry sector.