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The Santa Maria Joint Union High School District has been awarded a $2 million Career Technical Education Incentive Grant (CTEIG) to help students get career and college ready.

The first allocation, a little more than $1.1 million, of the three-year grant is expected to be received soon from the California Department of Education. The state money is part of $400 million that is earmarked career-orientated learning.

Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction John Davis said the money will primarily be used to expand Pathway Programs across the spectrum of district Career Technical Education (CTE) courses.

“It will help us get closer to full implementation of career pathways and improve future opportunities for our students,’’ Davis said.

District CTE courses at Santa Maria, Righetti, Pioneer Valley and Delta high schools will all be connected to industry clusters including Arts, Media & Entertainment – Information & Communication Technologies – Energy, Environment & Utilities – Health Science & Medical Technology – Architecture & Engineering – Business & Finance – Manufacturing &

Product Development - Agriculture & Natural Resources – Hospitality, Recreation & Tourism.

SMJUHSD applied for the grant in December and had to demonstrate an existing monetary commitment to CTE for the funding. The district showed more than a $7 million commitment.

Some of the money will be used at SMJUHSD’s new Agricultural Education and Career Technical Education centers to engage student readiness.

The 25-acre property, which is north of the Elks Rodeo Grounds and east of Highway 101, is in escrow. The vacant land is presently used for crop farming and owned by the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, a religious corporation. C-2004 Bond Funds (General Obligation Dollars) fund the $3.6 million purchase.

The centers will have a capacity of 400 to 500 students.

The short-term development plan involves a centralized farm for agricultural students including county fair competitions, Future Farmers of America and other projects. The student and staff activities will involve crop farming, livestock rearing and horticulture. Fencing, pens, shelters, a pole barn, storage sheds, portable restrooms, utilities (electricity)
and landscaping are also part of the plan. The district has more than 1,500 FFA members.

The long-term goals involve construction of structures or facilities to house the Career Technical Education Center and Capstone Career Pathway courses. Specialized classrooms, support rooms, labs, offices, meeting areas, storage, paved roadways and parking and utilities will be considered too.

The CTEIG was created as a state education, economic, and workforce development initiative with the goal of providing pupils in kindergarten through grade twelve, inclusive, with the knowledge and skills necessary to transition to employment and postsecondary education.

NONDISCRIMINATION POLICY: The Santa Maria Joint Union High School District is committed to ensuring equal, fair, and meaningful access to employment and education services. The SMJUHSD does not discriminate in any employment practice, education program, or educational activity on the basis and/or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics of age, ancestry, color, disability, ethnicity, ethnic group identifications, gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, marital, family or parental status, medical condition, military or veteran status, nationality, national origin, immigration status, political affiliation, pregnancy and related conditions, race, religion, retaliation, sex (including sexual harassment), sexual orientation, or any other basis prohibited by California state and federal nondiscrimination laws respectively. Not all bases of discrimination will apply to both education services and employment. If you believe you have been subjected to discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying, immediately contact the District’s Discrimination, Equity and Title IX Compliance Officer Mr. Kevin R. Platt at 2560 Skyway Drive, Santa Maria, CA 93455, (805) 922-4573 or You may request a copy of SMJUHSD’s Uniform Complaint Procedures, Non-Discrimination Policies, Sexual Harassment Policies or click here.