Friday, March 11, 2016

What is the East Bay Linked Learning Hub of Excellence?

The Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with school districts, community colleges, and industry employers from Contra Costa to Hayward, is actively addressing the need to align educational opportunities with the workforce needs of industry in the region.

A prime example of the Chamber’s work is the recently launched East Bay Linked Learned Hub of Excellence, a multi-year initiative made possible with the support of James Irvine Foundation. Part of the broader effort underway in California known as “Linked Learning,” the initiative integrates academics with career-based learning and real-world workplace experiences. The Chamber’s role in the program is to serve as the central anchor organization that connects education, industry, and government partners to further develop work-based learning in the region.

As the program’s lead and anchor intermediary in the East Bay, the Chamber is responsible for developing and coordinating regional strategy to create and strengthen career pathways. The overall goal of the Chamber’s effort is to create more and better career opportunities for our region’s young people.

What is a Career Pathway?

A well-developed career pathway is a strong partnership with education, industry, and government partners that systematically builds awareness of, interest in, and skills for high-demand jobs. By way of example, a career pathway may initially begin with a workplace tour or career fair to build awareness of the range of available careers. It might then include a job shadow to allow individuals to further explore career opportunities. From there, the next step in a career pathway might be a paid internship to allow students to further develop their skills. Finally, a career pathway might include a paid job featuring robust on-the-job training to allow students to develop a mastery of job skills.

Career pathways can be developed for a range of industries based on industry needs. The East Bay Linked Learning Hub of Excellence is in the process of developing career pathways for the following sectors: computer science, advanced manufacturing, health care, cyber security, and transportation and logistics.

Get Involved: Education and Industry Partnerships

The Chamber’s has hired two East Bay Linked Learning Hub of Excellence staff members that may be contacted for more information about education and industry partnerships. Courtney Riley ( serves as the Linked Learning Program manager, with a focus on working with and developing new education partners to scale Linked Learning practices. Mark Butler ( is the Hub’s Industry Engagement Director and works with regional industry employers to connect them with work-based learning opportunities.  

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