By John Baxter

Rotary Clubs sometimes struggle with where to hold an off-site meeting. Why not hold it at a local high school?  Our Rotary Club of Simi Sunrise held its 7 a.m. meeting at Royal High School in Simi Valley, California.  

We wanted to develop a stronger connection with a local school and learn more about the pathway programs the school offered and how our Rotary Club of Simi Sunrise could help. Career Pathway programs, developed by the U.S. Departments of Labor, Education, Health, and Human Resources,  promote the use of career pathways (high schools and colleges)  to assist youth and adults with acquiring marketable skills and industry-recognized credentials. Many countries offer similar programs under different names.

Royal High School offers its students pathways in Building and Construction Trades Digital Arts, Education, Food Service and Hospitality, JROTC and Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Patient Care - Sports Medicine, Software and Systems Development.


At our club’s off-site meeting, the Hospitality pathway students served breakfast. Other pathways gave presentations about classes offered and potential careers available in that field.  

Our club learned more about the needs of each pathway and how our club could help. It was a first step in building a better partnership with one of our local high schools. 

Over the years Rotary Clubs have been instrumental in building Career Pathway programs that bridge the gap between schools and the workforce. In the book Career Pathways Preparing Students for Life, a guide to building successful pathway programs in education communities, Rotary Clubs are mentioned numerous times in helping students connect with the real world through job shadows, internships and transportation to both. It’s been shown that Rotary members can be a great resource to connect schools and the work community.  

As part of our Vocational Committee at Rotary Club of Simi Sunrise and a former Pathway Coordinator for Simi Valley High School, I have witnessed the positive impact Rotary can have on Pathway programs.  

Surprisingly, Rotary members have helped students figure out more what students don't want to do for a living more than what they want to do for a living. And, that's a success, too.

I encourage all Rotary Clubs to contact their local schools or colleges and inquire about holding a club meeting and ask if the club can see and hear about the school’s programs, needs, and how the club can help connect the school with the workforce community. 

Who knows your club members could inspire a job, an internship, or a job shadow that helps students decide a rewarding career. 


The United States workforce pathway program is divided into sixteen industry sectors* Each  sector offers numerous pathways for schools to develop. All education entities are part of the pathway program from elementary to college depending on the area.  

Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources

Architecture & Construction

Arts, Audio/Video Technology & Communications

Business, Management & Administration

Education & Training


Government & Public Administration

Health Science

Hospitality & Tourism

Human Services

Information Technology

Law, Public Safety, Corrections & Security


Marketing, Sales & Service

Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics

Transportation, Distribution & Logistics

California offers fifteen industry sectors.