Vital Link President Brian Dozer is biking to campuses across Orange County to raise awareness and funding for career technical education. On Friday morning, he cycled by OCDE and was met by (from left) Central Orange County Career Technical Education Partnership (CTEp) Coordinator Joyce Foss, OC Pathways Coordinator Kim Goodwin and OCDE Career Education Director Kathy Boyd.
Dr. Brian Dozer is proving to be quite an effective “spokes”-person.
As president of the nonprofit Vital Link, Dozer recently embarked on a cycling journey that’s taking him to every high school district, community college and regional occupational program in Orange County to promote career technical education — or CTE — and to raise money for local scholarships.
He launched the first leg of Vital Link’s Pedal-ED campaign on Oct. 15, arriving at campuses in Orange, Fullerton, Brea and Tustin. The second leg took him to OCDE’s Costa Mesa headquarters on Friday, Oct. 22, and from there he was set to venture on to the Newport-Mesa Unified School District, Orange Coast College, Coastline ROP, Golden West College and Edison High School in Huntington Beach.
Additional rides are planned for Friday, Nov. 5 and Friday, Nov. 12. Oh, and Dozer is live-streaming each stop on the Vital Link Facebook page.
”The first ride was so incredible and highlighted the amazing work that our career technical education students, teachers and administrators do,” he said. “It was also really great to see the varied programs, from construction to health sciences to digital media arts and farming, that our students are excelling in.”
Opportunities for students
Founded in 1995, Vital Link works with schools and businesses to create experiential learning opportunities for students, preparing them for careers in sectors such as robotics, engineering, manufacturing, healthcare, computer programming, digital media and automotive technology.
The Pedal-ED initiative was established as a fundraiser to help students offset their costs as they take career technical education courses at community colleges. One recent survey of nearly 50,000 students found that 57 percent of students are struggling to cover basic needs, including 40 percent who suffer food insecurity and 37 percent who face housing insecurity.
As of Thursday, the campaign had netted nearly $6,000 in scholarship donations with a goal of raising $20,000. Supporters can contribute at vitallink-main-donation.funraise.org, and all donations up to $10,000 will be matched by a grant from 100 Companies That Care, which aims to foster a culture of philanthropy in Orange County’s business community.
Spotlighting CTE programs
Dozer’s tour is also intended to highlight the value of CTE programs offered at the county’s middle and high schools, regional occupational programs, and community colleges.
This coursework, which typically combines rigorous academics with hands-on training, can help local companies fill labor gaps in health, information technology, construction, advanced manufacturing, hospitality and other vital industries.