Program staff are the heart of our programs, and represent a diverse cross-section of the workforce: college students, paraprofessionals, and other community members. Agencies across the state struggle with hiring and retaining qualified staff, and those who do stay develop an wide and important skill set that they use to build strong programs in and out of expanded learning programs.
The California Department of Education Expanded Learning Division’s Strategic Plan also recognizes that out-of-school time professionals are the future of California’s workforce, and investing in their development prepares them for other positions in the education sector or wherever they choose. We must make a collective investment in the California’s workforce in order to ensure that the next generation to enter the workforce is prepared with the skills and experiences they need to access family-sustaining wages and meaningful careers.
In alignment with the California Department of Education’s Vision for Expanded Learning strategy around Workforce Development, we know that ongoing professional development is a clear way to retain and promote qualified staff, as well as career pathways for staff seeking careers in teaching and other youth serving careers.