Leaders with National City and UC San Diego signed a letter of intent to create a Health, Education, and Workforce Hub.
“This is just one step forward for our community. We are a working-class community of an average income of about $41,000 a year for a family of four. So, when we start talking about ways to empower and engage our community, education and certificate programs, 4 years and 2 years are all ways in which we get to that end goal,” Alejandra Sotelo-Solis, National City Mayor said.
For the first time in its history, UC San Diego Extension will have a prominent presence in the South Bay region.
“There's something very special about this community they’re passionate they have great resources, great talent and they take great pride in what they do,” Edward Abeyta, Associate Dean, UCSD Extension said.
Abeyta said the agreement was seven years in the making. Although some residents would argue the Southbay has been trying for decades to bring a university campus to the region, to no avail. Both sides feel this is a step in the right direction.
In addition, both sides touted the trolley system for being another good reason this partnership fits. When the expanded blue line is finished, National City residents can head up to La Jolla in a half-hour, making the main campus more accessible.
“We know that education along with good-paying jobs is the great equalizer when it comes to upward mobility financial independence and a multitude of career opportunities,” Sotelo-Solis said.
The Health, Education, and Workforce Hub will encompass a multitude of educational and career development resources, including STEM outreach to high school students, college resources, test preparation classes, and community-oriented faculty lectures to National City, according to Abeyta.
Another goal of the program is to provide certificate programs and job training for adults changing careers and/or veterans who served at Naval Base San Diego in National City.
The location and start dates for programs are still to be determined, but Wednesday’s Letter of Intent signing was the first formal step to getting the ball rolling.