Project Spotlight: Imperial Valley Regional Occupational Program
The Imperial Valley Regional Occupational Program (IVROP) is a public education service which provides free, practical hands-on training, career guidance, job placement assistance and other supportive services to youth and adults. IVROP, one of 74 ROPs in California, is a joint powers entity formed by seven school districts in the area and the Imperial County Office of Education.
Imperial Valley, located in the rural desert in the southeast corner of California, has a total area of 4,481 square miles and 177,057 residents. Agriculture is the largest industry in Imperial County and accounts for 49 percent of all employment. Over 81 percent of the population is Hispanic/Latino.
IVROP is dedicated to developing and providing quality training, career, technological, and educational services. These programs will meet the needs of all students empowering them to become successful, contributing members of a global society.
IVROP provides training to acquire entry-level jobs, improve job skills, prepare for advanced training and education, prepare for a college major, earn credits towards high school graduation, and earn a certificate of demonstrated competencies. There are no fees or tuition for instruction. They offer services to youth, adults, and families that have barriers to economic stability and self sufficiency. The local community and business industry benefits by receiving a pool of highly trained, productive individuals that are ready to go to work.
Four IVROP students recently started school at UC Berkeley. This year, six seniors from various high schools in the Imperial Valley became recipients of the prestigious Gates Millennium Scholar Program, which selects just 1,000 students from the nation each year to receive a good-through-graduation scholarship to use at any college or university of their choice. (Imperial Valley Press, 4/30/13.)