Expansion of Binational Internship and Workforce Training Programs

Academic institutions in the U.S. and Mexico are now viewing the border as a resource for innovative cross-border educational opportunities, especially in Southern California and Baja.

The Chamber continues to advocate for President Obama and President Peña Nieto’s full support of 10,000 Strong or FOBESSI as an integral part to their High Level Economic Dialogue.

One of the significant advantages of our Cali-Baja region is the combination of excellent academic institutions on both sides of the border as well as a skilled workforce. San Diego is home to some of the top universities for business, research and life sciences. Students throughout Mexico choose Baja as the place to pursue higher education, especially those in the engineering field. In addition, Baja has numerous institutions focused on technical careers and training, leveraging Baja as a place of sophisticated and skilled workforce. The strengths and knowledge shared throughout the region are key factors in attracting business on a global scale.

Academic institutions in the U.S. and Mexico are now viewing the border as a resource for innovative cross-border educational opportunities. Particularly in Southern California and Baja, the geographic location is currently seen as an advantage to fulfill this cross-border educational approach. The importance of pursuing and establishing cross border educational opportunities is underscored by the MOU that was signed last year by Governor Brown and Mexican federal officials to promote cooperation in the fields of education, research and scholarly activities, as well as the support President Obama and President Peña Nieto have given to 10,000 Strong or FOBESSI as an integral part of their High Level Economic Dialogue.

Recently, at a local level, leaders from academic institutions on both sides of the border together with the US Consulate in Tijuana and Mexican Consulate in San Diego, spearheaded the CaliBaja Consortium for Higher Education. Through this initiative, our regional academic leaders have committed to funding and/or opportunities to fulfill the commitments of our nation’s leaders while increasing our region’s competitiveness.

Through its advocacy efforts, the Chamber has:

  • Worked to increase the number of academic institutions on both sides of the border that participate in the cross-border education effort.
  • Supported the proposal for a four-year international university in Chula Vista.
  • Supported those institutions which have made a commitment to move forward with cross-border education. Efforts include:
    • CETYS– Offering its students undergraduate or graduate courses, as well as certificates and double degrees in the United States. It offers Imperial Valley College students the possibility of completing their degree in Engineering at CETYS.
    • UC San Diego– Helping Mexican students who are trying to enhance their academic record on their path to admission into a research university such as UC San Diego, as well as leveraging existing programs to include Mexican nationals. These programs include providing opportunities for at least 10 Mexican high school students to participate in residential summer programs at UC San Diego, offering online learning opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), and developing relationships with high schools in Tijuana interested in offering UC San Diego credit courses and AP courses taught by graduate students on site.
    • UABC– Working to strengthen student exchange and academic mobility through programs designed to encourage students to study other languages and participate in summer and semester programs in the United States, particularly at universities in California, as well as at universities in Europe.
    • Southwestern College– Established a memorandum of understanding with CETYS and UTT for students to be able to earn degrees and certificates on both sides of the border.
    • National University– Supporting cross-border education initiatives by investing $2 million in scholarships by 2020 for Mexican students enrolled in the University’s ESL, undergraduate and graduate programs. In addition, the University commits to hiring a full-time internship coordinator to facilitate cross-border placements for students, and will also provide transfer pathways for Mexican students studying at community colleges. National University will also continue offering ESL and other study opportunities through Mexico’s Proyecta 100,000 program.
    • Woodbury University – Working on a business plan to increase the Woodbury-San Diego campus from 100 to 600 students by 2025. Expansion will broaden program offerings beyond architecture and increase bi-national focus among new offerings such as developing cross border regional planning master’s degree to deal with the unique challenges of the US-Mexico border region.
  • Expanded binational internship and workforce training programs benefiting our regional economy and talented workforce.
  • Encouraged joint research projects, primarily on topics concerning the region.
  • Facilitated teacher and student exchanges.
  • Contributed to matching higher education and “New Economy Jobs” demand.
  • Created a communication mechanism between the San Diego-Baja educational institutions with the federal authorities in Mexico and the State authorities in Sacramento.
  • Worked with the business organizations on both sides of the border to develop a Cali-Baja binational internship and workforce training programs.
  • Used the Connect SD model to foster innovation synergies between the R&D University research centers and industry.
  • Developed three pilot cross-border educational degrees in accordance with the market demands of the San Diego-Baja region.
  • Promoted the expansion of English language classes and courses in Baja middle school curricula and Spanish language in California middle school curricula.
  • Created a better communication mechanism to promote the benefits of the U.S.’s 100,000 Strong Initiative and Mexico’s Proyecta 100,000 program.