Tag Archives: Verdugo Creative Technologies Consortium

Burbank Schools Develop Digital Media And Manufacturing Programs

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.

Eric Simkin (mOcean), Carrie Brown (BAFA), John Paramo (BUSD), Zita Lefebvre (Cartoon Network), Peggy Flynn (BUSD), Lisa Rawlins (Warner Bros.), Superintendent Dr. Jan Britz (BUSD), Charlene Tabet (Board of Education), Sharon Cuseo (BUSD), Burbank City Manager Mark Scott, Kimberley Clark (BUSD), Burbank Mayor Dr. David Gordon and Dave Kemp (Board of Education) celebrate the kick off of the Verdugo Creative Technologies Consortium.(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Eric Simkin (mOcean), Carrie Brown (Burbank Arts For All Foundation), John Paramo (BUSD), Zita Lefebvre (Cartoon Network), Peggy Flynn (BUSD), Lisa Rawlins (Warner Bros.), Superintendent Dr. Jan Britz (BUSD), Charlene Tabet (Board of Education), Sharon Cuseo (BUSD), Burbank City Manager Mark Scott, Kimberley Clark (BUSD), Burbank Mayor Dr. David Gordon and Dave Kemp (Board of Education) celebrate the kick off of the Verdugo Creative Technologies Consortium.(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“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.

Eric Simkin of mOcean, Lisa Rawlin of Warner Bros. Studios and Zita Lefebvre of Cartoon Network partner with Burbank Unified School District to develop tech and arts savvy classes. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Eric Simkin of mOcean, Lisa Rawlin of Warner Bros. Studios and Zita Lefebvre of Cartoon Network partner with Burbank Unified School District to develop tech and arts savvy classes. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

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.”

Verdugo Creative Technologies Consortium Kicks Off Partnership

Staff and teachers from the Burbank Unified School District and representatives from local studio and creative media partners including Warner Bros., Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and mOcean help kick off the Verdugo Creative Technologies Consortium Wednesday evening, October 29, at Glendale Community College.

BUSD logoThey join staff from Glendale Unified School District, California State University at Northridge, Glendale Community College, the Verdugo Workforce Investment Board and several other digital manufacturing and media businesses to celebrate the development of school and industry partnerships aimed at better preparing students with skills for the 21st century.

The group of schools – BUSD, GUSD, CSUN and GCC – the VWIB and local industry partners applied as a cohort for a California Career Pathways Trust Grant as the Verdugo Creative Technologies Consortium (VCTC.) The VCTC was announced as a grantee in July 2014.

Over the five years of the grant, the VCTC will receive six million dollars from the state to fund digital media and manufacturing programs at the high school and college level. Burbank Unified will receive 1.4 million of those funds based on its relative size to other partners in the group, explained Burbank Unified Director of Instruction and Accountability, Sharon Cuseo.

Industry partners will provide additional enrichment, resources and job shadowing for students, added Cuseo.

Grant funds will help BUSD buy industry standard software and computers and pay for professional development, she said. Industry partners, such as Nickelodeon also have donated Cintiqs and other computers for use in the schools as well.

“We’ll have the industry partners come in and help us with the curriculum development,” commented Cuseo. “So that they can make sure that we are teaching the skills they would like to see in their employees.”

While BUSD has some digital media classes in place at the three high schools and plans to add additional classes, the focus is on upgrading the curriculum to utilize more sophisticated computers and software like those in use at Warner Bros., Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and mOcean currently. The district’s digital media pathway for students begins at all three middle schools.

Digital manufacturing is an important component of the grant and BUSD staff and teachers are also working on programs including engineering, robotics and other STEM subjects. Cuseo indicated that Glendale Unified and Clark Magnet High School are assisting with the development of STEM-related programs in BUSD.

“Manufacturing will actually take more time because we have to develop that program,” explained Cuseo. “We don’t have anything in place.”

“We want to thank and acknowledge our business partners for participating in this,” Cuseo also said. “That support is really what helped us get the grant in the first place.”

“They have always donated generously in terms of materials and supplies,” continued Cuseo. “This [partnership] is really more so that we are teaching what they need and that our students can have those opportunities to maybe intern with them – not at the beginning because they won’t have the skills but as [students] get further along the pathway and they have those skills, they can go there and intern and really learn about the careers in the field.”