Dear County and District Superintendents, Charter School Administrators, and High School Principals:
Statewide Paid Internship Summit to Support Youth
I write today to invite you and your teams to our first Statewide Paid Internship Summit on Tuesday, October 10, 2023, at the California Department of Education (CDE) Headquarters at 1430 N Street, Sacramento, CA 95814.
Amid growing concerns about rising crime rates—especially crimes committed by youth and young adults—it is more important than ever that we join forces to create paid internship opportunities that meet the aspirations of our youth. These increased opportunities can both set youth on a positive trajectory and deter the crime that is affecting so many communities across our state. This summit will bring together leaders from the education, industry, youth development, workforce development, and city and county sectors to discuss the launch of an unprecedented initiative to fund paid internships that are connected to meaningful career pathways and comprehensive support services for California students.
Based on some very promising internal data that indicate students in career technical education (CTE) programs have lower chronic absenteeism rates and higher graduation rates, this initiative will build on the success of pathways programs and focus expansion in communities of greatest need. Our goal for the summit is to design a statewide youth paid internship initiative that will have four primary components:
- A paid internship, apprenticeship, work experience, or other type of work-based learning experience that would last at least one semester but could continue through graduation or beyond
- High-quality CTE coursework in the area of career interest
- Specially designed, culturally proficient college and career counseling throughout the duration of the program
- An assigned mentor who works in the industry sector or field of the student’s interest
I urge you to share this invitation widely with your district and school site teams who work in college and career development, alternative education programs, CTE pathway programs, community schools programs, youth development, and other related departments who might be interested in this opportunity.
Summit participants will help design each of the components of the program and enlist partners throughout the state who can support and provide opportunities in each of the major focus areas. Summit participants will also discuss strong existing models and how we can best braid current funding with new sources of funding to expand the impact of the initiative.
We hope to have participants join us in person, but we will also have a virtual option for those who cannot travel to the Summit. Once you confirm your participation, we will send an email with full logistical details. Please RSVP via the CDE survey at https://surveys3.cde.ca.gov/go/sfpi-registration.asp.
If you have any questions, please email our Summit planning team at CAStudentinternships@cde.ca.gov.
Thank you for all you do for our students and their families, and I look forward to seeing you on October 10.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction