Strong Workforce – PAUSD

Category of Impact:

Data Science



KCI will lead three workshops focused on Data Science and its application to middle and high school core curriculum.

Currently, Palo Alto Unified offers an Advanced Engineering Technology Capstone, with potential certification track. Yet, students in this pathway do not always take full advantage of our work-based learning opportunities and would benefit from hands-on experience in semiconductor industries. Students would benefit greatly from exposure to Engineering Technology career options early, starting in middle school. One of the current challenges in this area is the lack of college level certification programs that could meet the needs of the industry sector. There is a synergy between student awareness, teacher externships, postsecondary educational experience and industry expertise that can and should be leveraged to give students the best advantages when they graduate high school. This grant aims to build upon the already existing structures within PAUSD to strengthen industry connections and postsecondary options to meet labor market and industry needs through strong industry partnerships.

Our program prepares students for real workforce needs here in the Bay Area. According to SEMI, the industry association representing 2,400 companies in the electronics manufacturing and design supply chain, in the next 10-15 years their industry will double in size, from $500 Billion to $1 Trillion. Applied Materials, one of the largest Bay Area companies in the industry, estimates that as the market doubles in size, they will need an additional 20,000 employees. Other local companies in this industry like Intel, Lam Research, and KLA-Tencor should see similar jobs growth.

To address these critical workforce needs and guide students toward successful postsecondary studies, our project combines PAUSD’s existing CTE programs and a new work-based learning process developed by three leading nonprofits, the Krause Center for Innovation, Ignited (previously IISME) and the SEMI Foundation. In addition, we will work with Foothill College to explore new learning experiences that would offer a smoother transition in the system related to implementation of state standards and attainment of student certifications.

Together we’ll achieve five main objectives:

  1. Connect more companies to PAUSD classrooms.
  2. Strengthen CTE teacher training through industry engagement
  3. Attract more first-time volunteers from more companies.
  4. Increase student knowledge and interest in SEMI companies
  5. Support student transitions to community college

Project Partners