Burbank city and school officials, along with executives from Burbank studios, attended the Verdugo Creative Technology Consortium (VCTC) reception Wednesday, October 29, at Glendale Community College.
The event celebrated the recent announcement of a six million dollar grant from the State of California to fund development of digital media and manufacturing programs for area students.
“We are collaborating with local industry leaders to develop pathway programs that prepare students for workforce needs in digital media and digital manufacturing fields,” said Dr. David Viar, president of Glendale Community College.
“We need local entertainment and manufacturing companies to provide mentors, internships and a variety of other opportunities that allow our students to develop new skills, expand their list of achievements and build relationships with professionals,” he added.
Burbank Mayor Dr. David Gordon, City Manager Mark Scott and City Treasurer Debbie Kukta joined BUSD Superintendent Dr. Jan Britz, Board of Education members Charlene Tabet, Dave Kemp and president Dr. Roberta Reynolds and BUSD administrators at the event.
They were joined by Lisa Rawlins from Warner Bros. Studios, Zita Lefebvre from Cartoon Network and Eric Simkin of mOcean. Those movie and digital media studios, along with Nickelodeon Animation Studios have agreed to partner with Burbank Unified School District in developing classes that teach skills necessary for the twenty-first century workplace.
Burbank Unified’s Director of Instruction and Accountability Sharon Cuseo detailed more of Burbank schools and businesses partnership with the VCTC in an previously published interview with myBurbank.
Cuseo organized the Burbank part of the VCTC partnership, while Robert Mejia from the Verdugo Workforce Investment Board (VWIB) put the entire grant application together. BUSD and VWIB joined Glendale Unified School District, California State University at Northridge and Glendale Community College to create the VCTC.
“Last night was a great kick off for the work we want to do as a consortium,” commented Cuseo. “It gives us the opportunity to establish greater partnerships between all the partners and the community.”
“The potential for Burbank students and local business is exciting,” she added.
Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) has been a popular buzzword in education for years. Recently, many educators and businesses have emphasized the need for an Arts, or creative, component to learning, technology and manufacturing, making the buzzword now STEAM.
“Technical skills applied creatively generate the kinds of innovation that sustain local economic development,” Viar also said. “Our goal is not to ask high school students to declare their life long career at 14. Instead our goal is to provide students with foundational skills that enable them to make choices.”