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April 29, 2014 > Mission Valley ROP invests in the future

Mission Valley ROP invests in the future

Submitted By Robbie Finley

As a teenager, what did you dream about doing for a living? Did you want to work in a hospital? Become an engineer? Work in television? Teens across the East Bay are being given a chance to explore options like these and many more through Career Technical Education (CTE) programs provided by Mission Valley Regional Occupational Program (MVROP).

MVROPs CTE programs, available to high school teens in the Fremont, New Haven, and Newark school districts, are designed to engage students to start thinking about career interests. It is a foolproof way for them to find out where they want to be in life, says Allison Aldinger, MVROPs public relations administrator. If that piques your interest, the cost to enroll is also enticing. The costÉ nothing! Classes are free for high school students.

Through ten distinct and in-demand career pathways, students learn and receive hands-on training by a staff with at least five years industry-specific experience. Each teacher goes through a two-week Ôboot campÕ where they actually do every single lesson, Aldinger said. MVROPs programs currently train over 5,000 students in the East Bay.

MVROP adds another dimension to high school student education. It instills a sense of professionalism, provides practical work experience and a chance to explore vocational options. Aldinger says, ÒWe offer the type of relevant and rigorous CTE programs that local schools are unable to offer on their own.Ó

CTE programs work in concert with public schoolÕs core curriculum and enable students to gain an advantage in the workplace by becoming familiar with and developing a skill set in high-demand career fields.

To make sure that training remains relevant to the job market, MVROP constantly reviews training effectiveness by monitoring how it translates to graduate employment and inviting local companies to help develop a relevant and timely curriculum. By investing in the education of MVROP students, local companies are helping themselves, Aldinger says. Fremont-based Tesla Motors, for example, has hired numerous MVROP graduates, as has Lam Research, another Fremont-based company that designs and manufactures semiconductor equipment.

The future of MVROP is bright. Aldinger says, ÒWeÕve had a lot of development this year.Ó The school is planning to expand into middle schools and include alternatives for adults on its campus. The MVROP mission statement summarizes:

Òrelevant career technical education by preparing students for employment and college through industry standard tools, training, and experience.Ó

Some of the more popular pathways at MVROP are Health Service and Medical Technology, and Building and Construction Trades programs. According to Aldinger, the medical programs offer quite a few varieties and are very hands on. ÒThey are taught caring from head to toeÓ in a number of disciplines.

The construction program is currently engaged in a unique project Ðconstructing an entire house. They plan to sell it and reinvest any profit back into the program.

Additional programs include: Arts, Media, and Entertainment; Engineering and Architecture; Hospitality, Tourism, and Recreation; Information and Communication Technologies; Marketing, Sales, and Service; Public Services; Transportation; and Childcare.

The training center, which began CTE courses in 1969, houses 19 classrooms with four state-of-the-art biotechnology and health services laboratories, six computer labs, an automotive garage, and much more. CTE graduates earn higher wages than others in their demographic; they have more success in career advancement; impressive enrollment rates in post-secondary education; better 12th grade attendance; and improved grade point averages from 10th to 12th grades, according to the Longitudinal Study Report conducted by UC Riverside. This impressive facility isnÕt the only place students receive training; classes are also held in every high school in the Tri-City region.

MVROP is located at 5019 Stevenson Boulevard in Fremont. For more information, call (510) 657-1865 or visit

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