How To Get Involved

We offer several opportunities for professionals to inspire students. Our programs are volunteer based, and range from a twenty minute phone interview to a full day job shadow. Sharing your experience can have a positive impact in a student’s life as they become exposed to new career options. We hope students realize the great opportunities available in Santa Cruz County.


Middle and and high school students discover local businesses and career opportunities. Panels are conducted in the classroom, and are composed of three individuals from different industries. Panels usually last one hour. This is an excellent chance to tell students your story and anything you wish to share regarding your career.

With the help of their teachers, students prepare questions ahead of time. The remainder of the class is Q & A. New panelists are often surprised by the thoughtfulness of the students and their eagerness to find a viable career path. This is an easy way to connect with a large number of students.




Hosted at high schools throughout Santa Cruz County, students receive the opportunity to learn about each of the 15 standard industry sectors. Companies or individuals from each sector staff booths to provide students access to information about careers, jobs, training and education needs. This can be a real eye-opener for students as they are exposed to new career options. Our expos bring together local business and public sector employers with students who may soon become their employees.


The best method of learning is through hands on experience. Our job shadowing program allows high school students to explore a career they’re interested in. The host provides a tour and an overview of the day to day routines of their job. Students have the opportunity to ask questions, network, and develop a clearer understanding of the work behind your career.



One step up from job shadowing is actually working in the industry. It’s the best way for students to understand what a job and industry are really like. Interns can be paid or unpaid and their hours vary depending on the commitment from the employer. These hands-on experiences are invaluable in giving students clarity about industries that interest them.


Become a mentor and help a student get their career off to a great start. Mentors meet with a student or students regularly. They serve as a role model, answer questions and provide a working person’s perspective. Often they help with resumes and letters of introduction, give interview advice, help build a professional support network and strategizing about career goals. Meetings can happen in-person, virtually, or via Email, whichever works best for everyone.


Annual Business Education Luncheon


Your Future Is Our Business, The Santa Cruz County Office of Education, and Cabrillo College come together to THANK the Santa Cruz business community for providing Santa Cruz youth with industry knowledge, career guidance, and job shadow opportunities to forge a future path to a fulfulling career.

The Annual Luncheon is designed as a work-based learning project. High school and Cabrillo College students undertake every aspect of the luncheon to demonstrate their skills and show the business community what they are learning in their career and technical education classes. Instuctors and their students from throughout the county collaborate to harvest the bountiful produce, plan a delicious menu, prepare and serve the food to our business community members.