OC Pathways recognized as a model of public-private partnerships

An OCDE initiative that builds career pathways in key industry sectors and creates work-based learning opportunities for students has been honored as a model of public-private partnerships by the Orange County Business Council.

With funding from a state grant, OC Pathways launched in 2014 and now comprises dozens of school districts, colleges, regional agencies, and industry and community partners. On Wednesday night, it among a handful of local organizations and initiatives celebrated at OCBC’s Turning Red Tape Into Red Carpet Awards.

OCDE staff receiving award

OCDE staff accepts the Public-Private Partnership Award from the Orange County Business Council on Wednesday. From left, Irvine Company Senior Vice President of Government Relations Dan Miller; OCDE Chief Academic Officer Jeff Hittenberger; OC Pathways Executive Director Kathy Boyd; OC Pathways Coordinator Kim Goodwin; and OCBC President and CEO Lucy Dunn.

“This is a tremendous honor given the caliber of public-private partnerships in Orange County and the stellar field of nominees this year,” said OCDE Chief Academic Officer Jeff Hittenberger. “We owe so much to our incredible partners who are performing critical work to equip today’s students with the human competencies and characteristics that will help them thrive, even as we face transformative changes to our economy.”

Now in its eighth year, the Turning Red Tape Into Red Carpet Awards program annually spotlights local government agencies that have implemented innovative policies and programs that “cut through red tape, eliminate barriers to economic growth and open the door to private sector jobs creation.”

Wednesday’s ceremony, which came a day after the fourth annual OC Pathways Showcase, was held at the Center Club in Costa Mesa, where OCBC recognized agencies in a half-dozen categories including “Sustainable and Green Development,” “Leadership in Public Service” and “Real Estate Reuse and Redevelopment.”

For the Public-Private Partnership Award, OCDE shared top honors with the Irvine Ranch Water District for its Energy Storage Project. Hittenberger accepted the award along with OC Pathways Executive Director Kathy Boyd and OC Pathways Coordinator Kim Goodwin.