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Calendar >  Vista’s “Talent City” Campaign Expands

Vista’s “Talent City” Campaign Expands

By   /  March 16, 2017  /  No Comments


More Students, More Local Businesses, Connect To Create “Experienceships”

Vista, CA | March  2017 – What began in the fall of 2016 as a single visit by 25 students to a single Vista-based business has expanded to include five local employers and 130 Vista Unified middle school students. The visits are part of an innovative new program designed to build talent readiness aimed at graduating students that are immediately employable in careers aligned to the region’s priority sectors (Advanced Manufacturing, Clean Energy, Health Care, Information & Communication Technology, Life Sciences).

Talent Cities, a public-private partnership created by New York based educational consultancy New Learning Ventures (NLV), has been building its national model in Vista. After a program pilot day in December with a single Vista employer, Solatube, the program, with partners at the Vista Unified School District and the Vista Chamber of Commerce, is expanding to visit five North County employers throughout the week of March 20th.

Participating employers for this new round of student “experienceships,” include Solatube (for a return visit), Datron World Communications, Watkins Wellness, the Vista Irrigation District, and the IT department of Vista Unified School District.

The day will see student applicants from each of VUSD’s five middle schools participate at each employer. After learning about the companies and what they do, students will learn about various job functions, including manufacturing, marketing and engineering.

The host companies will then identify a Project Challenge for the students, connecting them with the company’s day-to-day operation. Students will self-select into teams based on their strengths and interests and design and present a plan that addresses the challenge. Students will then reflect on what they learned and how it relates to career readiness.

“The Vista Unified School District is honored to work with innovative local employers to expand the Talent Cities program,” says Project Lead, Robert Crowell. “It is a fantastic mutually beneficial partnership.  Not only do our students gain insights into career fields they may not have been aware of, but they get to apply their classroom learning to real world problems while getting feedback from industry professionals. Local businesses get to influence their future talent pipeline. We hope that both students and businesses come away with a greater appreciation of the opportunities available in Vista and the strengths and talents of our young people.”

The program, created by NLV’s founder, Gerri Burton, creates opportunities for students to visit local employers to gain deeper insight into potential career opportunities. The program provides students with “experienceships” that see them learn about myriad company functions, and then work on solving a real world problem the company is addressing.

Explains Burton, “What sets Talent Cities apart is the value it provides to local employers and local economic growth.  In addition to the student visits, Talent Cities assessments, surveys and research provide rich data to build an anonymous, aggregate talent pipeline. We know that the more business and entrepreneurs know about local talent, the more efficiently they can match talent demand and supply and offer valuable internal training programs.”

NLV has been consulting with Vista USD in the areas education transformation, change management, innovation, and leadership development. Talent Cities is a signature NLV program with interest from many parts of the globe.

Adds Vista Chamber of Commerce CEO Bret Schanzenbach, “The Talent City campaign is a fantastic opportunity for Vista’s business and educational communities to collaborate to bring opportunity and value to employers, students and the entire community. Developing home grown talent for our city’s businesses only strengthens our community and showcases why Vista is a great place to live, to learn and to work.”


  • Tuesday, March 21: Watkins Wellness, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM; Datron World Communication, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
  • Wednesday, March 22: Vista Irrigation District, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM; Solatube, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
  • Thursday, March 23: Vista Unified School District IT Department, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM



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