Established in 2006, Cristo Rey High School Sacramento helps prepare our region’s future workforce. Workforce development is critical for companies, nonprofit organizations and government agencies, and Cristo Rey goes beyond theory by putting high school students into real jobs through its Work Study Program.
In addition to a quality Catholic college-preparatory education, Cristo Rey gives students on-site work experience in a wide array of industries that results in practical resumes and valuable business contacts before they’ve even begun college. The work-study relationships between students and businesses are Cristo Rey’s financial engine — students work to contribute to their education as well as to gain job experience.
“The Work Study Program is a tangible way for businesses to invest in the Greater Sacramento region’s future success,” says President David Perry, Ed.D. Ideally, every Cristo Rey student from 9th through 12th grade works five days per month. However, the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the business community meant that only about half the usual number of students were able to attend jobs.
“With restrictions easing, students are getting back to the workplace,” Perry says. “Changing workplace dynamics are creating new challenges but also new opportunities as we prepare our students for college and career. We’re grateful to our partners who have continued their sponsorships and as we seek to grow enrollment through a larger freshman class, we look to add new partners for the coming school year.”
The Work Study Program abounds with advantages for students and employers, but the challenge remains increasing the paid positions for students. “Our business model depends on 90 percent or more of our students having paid work-study positions,” Perry says. “Today that number is approximately 80 percent and we are always looking for local businesses to join us in our mission of transformation through education.”
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