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April 7, 2021

Ed Hidalgo currently serves as the chief innovation and engagement officer for the Cajon Valley Union School District. His focus is on advancing the mission of developing happy kids and adults living in healthy relationships that are on a path to gainful employment.

Prior to joining the Cajon Valley Union School District, Ed held positions in Human Resources at the Jacob’s Institute for Innovation in Education at the University of San Diego, Government Affairs at Qualcomm and Staffing Management at Manpower of San Diego. Here he tells us a little bit about him.

Why are you passionate about workforce development?

Ed HidalgoThere are two reasons I’m passionate about workforce development and they are articulated by people much smarter than me. First:  “Giving children a better sense of the world of work is not just a matter of social justice, it is also a matter of bringing the potential of the next generation fully to bear.” Andreas Schleicher, Director Education and Skills, OECD. And second that: “Vocational development begins much earlier in the life span than generally assumed, and what children learn about work and occupations has a profound affect on the choices they make as adolescents and young adults, and ultimately, on their occupational careers.” Dr. Paul Hartung Professor, Department of Family & Community Medicine, Northeast Ohio Medical University.

If you had $1M to donate to a workforce development program, what would you want done with it?

According to, about 25% of high school freshmen fail to graduate from high school on time.[1] To approach this issue, I would identify the district with the most high school dropouts and deploy the funding to launch an elective rotation class for the 8th graders in the feeder middle schools. Students would gain access to a career educator that would begin with a deep understanding of students’ RIASEC themes and then launch into project based learning experiences aligned to each RIASEC area. That exploration would then lead to connections between RIASEC aligned careers, career and technical training, and post-secondary pathways at the local high school that link to college pathways, apprenticeship programs and other secondary options. This process would culminate in students developing a learner profile mapping their pathway from 8th grade to career by identifying good jobs found in the San Diego Workforce Partnership priority sectors. 

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?

Talk about career development. Sometimes I even go surfing. 

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