The Centers of Excellence projects that by 2028, new job growth and replacements in the Los Angeles Arts, Media & Entertainment (AME) industry sector will create 11,031 jobs openings annually. With a three-year average of only 2540 AME awards conferred by regional education institutions annually, the AME industry in LA will experience a supply gap shortage over the next five years. A contributing factor to this supply gap is underrepresented populations.  Hispanics, for example, make up 18% of the nation’s population and more than 49% of the LA region’s population, yet hold only 12% of the jobs within the media industry.  

K12 Strong Workforce funding supports districts in providing more opportunities for high-quality CTE programs aligned with identified priority and emerging industry sectors that directly feed into Los Angeles Valley Community College pathways. K12 Strong Workforce funding has made it possible for the Burbank Unified School District (BUSD) to address projected industry needs by removing barriers that prevent underserved student populations from accessing education that leads to high growth, high wage jobs. They have successfully maintained student access to articulated and dual enrollment courses offered by Los Angeles Valley Community College and other community college partners as a key strategy for supporting students as they work to complete AME Digital Media Pathways and transition to aligned post-secondary programs. Support Systems are in place to ensure students are successful as they transition to post-secondary to complete their pathway. High school students, especially first-generation college students, low-income, second language learners, those with special needs, build confidence and self-efficacy as a result of this scaffolded support. Ongoing annual collaborative planning time between BUSD and Los Angeles Valley Community College pathways teachers ensures courses are aligned, articulated, and sequential. 

The John Burroughs High School Film & Television Production pathway is an example of how BUSD is breaking barriers. Access to industry standard equipment has made the program accessible to all students. Targeted outreach to Hispanic and other underrepresented students begins in aligned middle school media classes and has resulted in increased enrollment.   Instructor Ryanne Meschkat has established a student driven program that is allowing students to learn in an authentic work-based environment with A-G approved courses that are articulated with LAVCC to obtain college credit. In her advanced courses students produce a live taped show for the entire school and staff four days a week. The show is produced, recorded, then uploaded to their Youtube channel by pathway students and later watched by the entire student body during homeroom. 

Students work as producers, anchors, camera operators, technical directors in and field reporters who produce new stories weekly for the show. The Film & Television Production pathway partnerships with Nickelodeon, Warner Bros. Discovery, PBS NEWS and Student television support the students by offering program and curriculum advisement, mentoring, internships and other work-based learning opportunities that build access to skills development and industry networking experiences that often lead to employment. Working collaboratively with professionals within these organizations allows students to explore the wide variety of career options within the industry, gain a better understanding of the types of training and education required to achieve these positions, and guidance as they receive feedback on their current work within the pathway. To view the Good Morning, John Burroughs show please visit: Good Morning John Burroughs