The San Diego CITD, Deputy Sector Navigator for Global Trade (DSNGT), Deputy Sector Navigator for Advanced Manufacturing (DSNAM), CTE Regional Pathways Program, and San Diego County Office of Education organized a professional development event for local educators interested in better understanding advanced manufacturing and global trade in the region, and learning about career opportunities for their students in these growing industry sectors. Participants included teachers and workforce development professionals from Southwestern College, San Diego City College, South County Community School, Monte Vista High School, Helix Charter High School, Victoria Community School, Juvenile Court & Community School (JCCS), San Ysidro High School, San Diego High School of International Studies, Monte Vista High School, San Diego City College Centers for Applied Competitive Technologies, and San Diego County office of Education.

The event began with a morning meeting at Southwestern College’s Higher Education Center in National City during which DSNGT, Victor Castillo, and DSNAM, Ed Smith, provided welcoming remarks and an overview of their sectors before introducing CTE Regional Pathways Program Industry Connections Coordinator, Monica Rosas, who talked about work-based learning opportunities that educators can incorporate into their classroom teaching. San Diego CITD student interns, Alexandra Lombard from e3 Civic High School, and Julio Gonzalez from Southwestern College, also had an opportunity to introduce themselves and talk about their experience working at the CITD. The meeting then transitioned to a round robin activity with manufacturing engineers from local companies. During the round robin, the engineers—which included Steve DeMoss from Solar Turbines, Rod Karim from The Visual Pak Companies, Wendy Martinez Hadovski from Raytheon, and David Sulli from Cohu/Delta Design—rotated through the tables of educators and talked about their job duties, industry certifications that are desired, education needed, skills employers look for, and why they love their career, among other topics related to careers in their field.

Once the meeting concluded, the group departed for the MEXPORT trade show, which focuses on manufacturing and global trade in the Southern California/Baja California region. There the group had an opportunity to interact with representatives of manufacturers and companies engaged in trade from both sides of the border. Prior to arriving at MEXPORT, the educators were provided with a handout to use as a guide on how to get the best out of their participation in the trade show, including sample questions to ask exhibitors related to career opportunities in their sector and the education/training needed to be successful. After walking the trade show floor and interacting with exhibitors, the group left to take a tour of STERIS Applied Sterilization Technologies (AST), a leading provider of infection prevention and other procedural products and services. During the tour they learned about Steris’ facility in San Diego, where they offer Global Contract Sterilization Services to medical device, pharmaceutical, consumer, and industrial markets as well as the types of occupations in their sector and the education and skills needed to be successful.

Resources shared with participants throughout the day included: an overview of regional manufacturing and global trade labor market information, regional website with curriculum for global trade, events and work based learning activities, opportunities for high schools integrating careers across job sectors and regional event offerings for teachers and students.