Steps to Readiness
West Valley High School has been honored previously as a DA District of Distinction for its Five Steps to Student Success. The fifth step—creating pathways to lead students to their career and educational goals—has earned recognition on its own.
In 2013-14, the district created a comprehensive plan—the West Valley Programs of Study—that forged new industry partnerships to introduce students to career possibilities.
District leaders worked with the chamber of commerce, the workforce development council and a local nonprofit economic development corporation to identify where job growth was expected.
The district also aligned skill sets to local industries using industry-recognized certifications. Community partners, such as Boeing, offer apprenticeships, internships and job-shadowing to students.
West Valley hosts the largest career and college fair in the Yakima Valley with nearly 60 college, trade school and industry partners.
The initiative has also led West Valley to launch the first youth apprenticeship in the state.
To start your own program:
- Create partnerships with workforce development councils.
- Make education real. Provide apprenticeships, internships.
- Seek community support in developing toolkits for apprenticeships, compiling economic labor data and providing early childhood education.