Many students preparing to leave high school have limited exposure to what op tions are possible for them after graduation. Even if they have an idea of what sector they are interested in pursuing, they may not know all of the various occupations within that sector. The agricultural industry is an example of just that scenario. There are positions such as agricultural accountants, marketing representatives, technology specialists and others that many students just don't know about or how to pursue the pathway to develop the necessary skillsets for that position.
The Center for Economic Development partnered with California Community College Regional Directors in the area of Agriculture, Water and Environmental Technology to help illustrate needed skills and the job growth potential of this industry sector. This effort is an expansion from the first phase of this project that is in partnership with NoRTEC. Critical positions in the agricultural sector were determined through in-depth business surveys and educational inventories were completed for 25 counties in California. The Center for Economic Development matched critical positions with target skillsets and then identified educational pathways that students can take to obtain those skills and fill the positions. The interactive tool provides a directory of institutions, the length and cost of relevant programs, information about projected job growth for the critical positions identified and outlines transferrable skillsets gained by completion of a particular program. This tool will be helpful for counselors and other mentors assisting students with identifying their educational or vocational path for their future. The Center of Economic Develop intends to expand this tool to cover more industry sectors on a state-wide level.