The Pasadena Chamber of Commerce is an active intermediary for several industry specific high school academies housed within Pasadena Unified School District.
Since June of 2017, the Chamber has enhanced the educational experience through work-based learning events with and through our business member partners. Our work has also positively impacted other members of our community (not exclusive to PUSD) seeking internships, employment and workforce development support.
The Chamber's Workforce Development efforts and Work-Based Learning Initiatives are spearheaded by Amy Foell, director of workforce development.
This is the progress we’ve made from June through December of 2017:
- The Chamber placed 95 PUSD Academy juniors into paid internships at the following local companies and organizations:
- Vroman’s Bookstore
- Law offices of Donald P. Schweitzer
- The Print Spot
- BC DESIGN HAUS
- Huntington Hospital
- Pasadena Service Federal Credit Union
- Pasadena Health Department
- Pasadena Media
- FVO Solutions
- CalTech - Division of Engineering and Applied Science
- Lee, Green, Stewart & Paul
- Beacon Media
- 301 Organics
- Health Advantage Physical Medicine
- Pasadena City Attorney's Office
- Pasadena Ronald Mcdonald House
- Congresswoman Judy Chu
- Pasadena Police Department
- Pasadena Humane Society
- Assemblyperson Chris Holden
- Concarino Home
- Huntington Medical Research Institutes
- Assessment Consultation & Treatment
- Pasadena Educational Foundation
- Foothill Unity Center
- Kaiser Legal Foundation
- reDiscover Center
- Careers in Conservation
- Old Navy
- Attire LA
- Peace Over Violence, Legal Advocacy Project
- Law Offices of Robert M. Harman & Associates
- Like Pizza (at We Work)
- Cafe Culture Fair Trade
- Nicali Sports Medicine
- Pet Food Express
- Burbank International Film Festival
- Jack Dezell Insurance Agency
- Pasadena Northwest Commission
Student interns were recruited, trained and placed. During their summer internship the Chamber's Workforce Development Director, Amy Foell, oversaw the interns, worked with host companies to ensure a successful internship for the business and the students and intervened if correcetions were required of the students or company hosts. At a ceremony held at Pasadena City College in August, each student who successfully completed the internship received certificates of completion from the Chamber and a stipend of $250. Some students were paid an hourly wage directly by the hosting company.
In addition to PUSD interns, the Chamber supported Don Bosco Tech’s summer internship program placing one of their rising seniors with Pasadena Heritage. Through the Pasadena Youth Works website we placed a Maranatha High School senior with STEAM CODERS and two CALWorks clients with Bryan's Cleaners and Elite Wealth Planners. We also are supporting recent college graduates of Berkeley and Bentley University with local employment opportunities. We’ve coordinated interviews for two Pasadena City College students for employment with Bastion Technologies and are currently supporting a LA Valley College freshman find employment while obtaining her degree.
"I have to thank you for screening the kids, and finding Denis for us. He was the PERFECT fit for the Print Spot. He is a reliable, respectful, responsible young man. He has a great sense of humor and is easy to talk to (and joke around with!). Everything I made as a requirement ...he met. Even though this is just our second time having an intern, this was indeed the best fit with ANY hire we've had (outside of who we currently have hired!)," said Wende Lee of Chamber member The Print Spot. "Denis also rebuilt our website, updated our Facebook social media page, assisted me with Yelp and a survey for a non-profit organization I volunteer for. Just... Priceless. Absolutely priceless. This program is amazing! Thank you for orchestrating and being a key component to making this a success."
From Rayeula, we received this comment on their interns, "Ludvig worked a lot of hours at home rebuilding our web site and then he came to Rayuela and finished it up with my partner Mafe. He completed all the hours. He counted them really precisely. He is very professional. He said there may have been a few minutes left and we asked him if we could call him with questions and pay him extra if we need him in the future," said Liliana Martínez, director of education at the school. "Can we contact the interns and ask them to work more hours with us, if we need them? Jennifer is eager to work at Rayuela for a few hours."
From Cafe Culture, we had this email, "Hey just wanted to let you know that Joan is moving on to another job. I'm so proud of her! She got a job with JC Penney for $11.50/hr and $20.50/hr for Holiday hours. She would not have gotten this job if she didn't have the internship. I'm extremely sad that she is leaving but she says she will come in and study after school. I told her she doesn't need to buy anything and I will continue to assist her with her homework. And, she still owes me to get the Strong Inventory test taken before December. Do you ask students to take it? I highly recommend it! Also, are we getting more interns? Thanks," said Christine Yap owner of Café Culture.
Student Sarah Mendoza had this to say, "I would like to say thank you once again for giving me this opportunity at the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA. I enjoyed myself so much because I worked with many animals and I love animals. I’m just really glad I got this experience because I learned many new skills and now I know how to recover an animal after surgery. Thank You once again. I really appreciate the hard work you went through to put some many interns in the right position."
"Amy, I am writing you in reference to Donovan Mass. What a diamond in the rough!! I am writing you to let you know how grateful I am for this young man being sent to our department as an Intern. When I met him, I must say he was the shy and very polite young man. I did not really believe that we were going to make such an impact on him as we did. During the course of his time here, I had the opportunity to really engage him and learn more about him. I will say that it was enlightening just learning about his background and his goals. I will say that this young man has a future in the Law Enforcement. His work ethic goes without saying and he pays close attention to details. Donovan reported to work on time and was always ready to work. He was assigned to several sections in the department and I must say he left an impression on each of them. He was always willing to take on any challenge he was faced with and met those challenges. In addition, I was able to invite him to the Explorer meeting and I am happy to say that he joined the post and I will be able to continue to mentor him and give him the much needed guidance to pursue his goal. We were so impressed with him over all and just to let you know, he surpassed the recommended hours. To be honest with you, he said that he did not care if he went over because he just wanted to learn. Again, he made such a great impression and I am so glad we have the opportunity to have in as we gain another family member in Donovan Mass. I will keep you posted on his progress in the Explorer program as he will more than likely be attending the Explorer Academy in September. If all goes well, he will graduate from the Explorer Academy in January of 2018," Sergeant Glenn C. Thompson, Pasadena Police Department.
The 2017 suymmer internship program was a tremendous success for students and the entrepreneurs, businesses, non-profits and government agencies they worked with. About 10% of the student summer interns were offered part-time, after school work by their hosting companies.
This school year, we recruited nine Health Career Academy seniors from Blair High School into Huntington Hospital’s year-long internship program. Amy Foell, the Chamber's workforce development director, coordinated and facilitated multiple advisory board meetings for the Business & Entrepreneurship Academy, Law & Public Service, Health Career Academy, Engineering & Environmental Science Academy. She also consulted the CEO and App Academy with work-based learning best practices and support.
Through Ms. Foell's efforts on behalf of the Chamber, we connected the Rose City Continuation School Career Exploration Academy with Old Navy in Hastings Village to create an embedded internship component into their customer service curriculum utilizing Old Navy as the pipeline for their students.
Other efforts included attending multiple team collaboration meetings with teachers and administrators at our dedicated academies to plan work-based learning events and better understand the educational needs of the students and teachers.
Ms. Foell also recruited five students from across academies interested in bio science and bio manufacturing to the Amgen Biotech Experience at the Pasadena Bioscience Collaborative.
The Chamber presented a resume workshop to juniors enrolled in the Law & Public Service and Business & Entrepreneurship academies in preparation for mock interviews and summer internships.
The Chamber helped recruit PUSD students to volunteer for One Arroyo events through Academy teachers. Ms. Foell also recruited and coordinated non-profits to be guest speakers and participate in “Serving Our Community With Nonprofit Partners Project” with the 11th graders enrolled in the Law & Public Service Academy. The participating organizations are; World Wildlife Federation, Peace Over Violence, Streets are for Everyone, Day One, Plan !t Now, Pasadena Ronald McDonald House and the American Red Cross. Small groups of students will select an organization to volunteer and create a PSA to support their mission as a classroom assignment.
Ms. Foell also identified and coordinated teacher externships for five teachers (three from John Muir High School, one from Blair High School and one from Pasadena High School). The externships were with Micro Consultants dealing with 3D Printing and the USC Climate Change Policy Workshop, which included teacher materials and $150.00 stipend and CERT training.
Ms Foell also enrolled nine PUSD seniors into the winter internship program offered to students that did not have an opportunity during the summer of their junior year. She also made presentations to Pasadena High School seniors regarding employment opportunities post-graduation that not require military or college experience.
Ms. Foell scheduled guest speaker, Jerri Price-Gaines of Clazzical Notes to Business & Entrepreneur Sophomores regarding future volunteer opportunities with her organization. She also recruited business partners to evaluate the Business & Entrepreneurship sophomores on their graphic design projects and branding/marketing strategies as part of their mid-semester grade. Participating partners were; Yvonne Boutte and Andy Tien of Pasadena Service Federal Credit Union, Ray Carlson, Keshia L. Bowen Owner of Simply Divine Salon, Laurette Clash of PIE Accounting, Aaron Wheeler of Pasadena Media and Start Up Grind, Leo Cablayan and Alan Romero of Romero Law.
Ms. Foell was able to facilitate a partnership with The World Wildlife Federation that resulted in a presentation to the Engineering & Environmental Science Academy seniors in September. The World Wildlife Federation also provided a bus to the John Muir High students to attend P-22 Day at Griffith Park on Sunday, October 22, 2017. Students from all the academies along with a few chaperones had a great experience at the event.
Ms. Foell's efforts also resulted in the Blair High Health Career Academy’s Speed Mentoring and Mock Interview Night for the 11th graders. Twenty-one business partners participated evaluating student’s resumes and providing feedback on their interview skills.
Ms. Foell was also able to connect the Pasadena Playhouse Community Programs Manager to the Academy teachers to encourage teachers to take advantage of free theater tickets for their students during the upcoming season.
Ms. Foell and the Chamber also recruited food industry partners to evaluate senior Business & Entrepreneurship Academy mid-term project, Amazing Avocado where students break up in to consultation teams to compete for a fictitious avocado grower. Partners were, Bob Harrison of Green Street Restaurant, Kelli Wong of Whole Foods (Arroyo Pkwy) and Elizabeth Eichhorn the CEO/Founder of Mary Lee Kitchen.
The Pasadena Chamber of Commerce and Civic Association is very grateful for the assistance and support we receive from our members and the business community as a whole. Without the many companies, agencies and individuals who step up to suport work-based learning in our community, our local students could not have the experiences, develop the confidence and build their own entrepreneurial and workplace skills.
You can support the Chamber's work-based learning and workforce development activities by donating to the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce Foundation. Any donation is 100% tax deductible and will go directly to supporting our work with students in our local public schools. Click here to donate: http://www.pasadenayouthworks.org/host/donate.
If you would like to volunteer your time, host and intern, be a job shadow location or mentor a local student, click here: http://www.pasadenayouthworks.org/host/signup and fill out the brief volunteer form.