Board members, district leaders, school-contracted developers, construction career advocate groups, and school site representatives convened at a September 22 virtual study session to discuss career exploration and experience opportunities for MUSD learners in secondary and adult education programs.
Invited guests included Aaron Jobson, of Quattrocchi Kwok Architects (QKA); Bryan Rosevear, of XL Construction; David Bini and Frank Biehl, of Santa Clara & San Benito Counties Building Trades; Walter Etsay, of LPA Design Studios; Tony Mirenda and Brenda Childress, of S4CA; Louise Auerhahn, of Working Partnerships USA; and David Finn, of Blach Construction.
With the passage of MUSD’s Measure AA in November 2018, the Board approved the Project Stabilization and Construction Careers Agreement (PSA), which outlines how work will be done in concert with labor trades. The PSA mandates a path for student internships and represents “a commitment by any contractor hired to do bond work in MUSD to spend dollars locally and to hire locally as much as possible to enhance the Milpitas economy,” according to staff report.
Along with MUSD’s $284 million bond, Board Vice President Chris Norwood estimated that $14.7 billion in 2018 school bonds passed in the Bay Area. There are about 4,000 MUSD students who stand to benefit from a career pathway into construction, he stated.
“It would be wonderful that in next 5-7 years that there is a population of MUSD kids, whether they have a college degree or not, who have the exposure and experience that they can partake in some of those dollars,” Norwood added. “That’s why we’re here.”
Travis Kirk, MUSD’s bond consultant, explained that the intent of the PSA is "to expose at-risk and underrepresented groups to the trades through apprenticeships and internships."
“This is a great opportunity to get these kids interested in the trades,” Kirk said.
At the study session, the panelists discussed the progress that each party has made in meeting the objectives for career pathways and dollars spent in Milpitas. An objective was to establish how to provide at least 1,000 Milpitas learners ages 15 – 60+ years with 20 hours each of construction-based career experiences by June 2022. Some examples of this are career day, job fairs, internships, shadowing, and project-based learning units.
The Board requested a follow-up report in about a month on progress made in developing internships for MUSD students.