On February 18th the Assistant Governors for Groups 10,11 & 12 hosted an opportunity for Club Presidents, PE’s and Club Service Chairs to hear directly from 2 District speakers.  This effort was enthusiastically received with 30 local Club Officers and District Representatives in attendance.  The response from those attending was very positive and opened many eyes to the deep District resources available to local Clubs.  The most valuable take-away referenced by those in attendance were the hand-out materials and the opportunity to ask questions directly of District Area of Service, and Special Program Chairs.  Others mentioned the great value in networking with District leaders as a resource for future projects.  Finally, the opportunity for a frank exchange of ideas and the ability to share both successes and disappointments that Clubs experience in implementing service projects and job shadowing programs was appreciated.  The event was so successful that our second Group 10, 11 & 12 Joint meeting with District speakers will occur on April 8th.
In creating this event we learned several lessons.
  1. The information received is valuable, the raised appreciation for the District’s resources is also valuable, but the greatest value was in “CONNECTION”!
  2. Pick a central location to encourage the widest possible participation.
  3. Pay careful attention to scheduling conflicts with the various Club fund-raisers and Club meetings.
  4. Allot 30 minutes for each speaker, including time for questions.
  5. Secure digital copies of all materials to distribute to all Clubs through the Assistant Governors after the event. 
  6. Clubs were not asked to register in advance, they just attend.  Have a sign-in sheet to keep track of which Club’s send members.
Group 11 officers were appreciative of the District's outreach and their committee chairs felt it helped them understand that support was indeed forthcoming from the district.
The location chosen by Jeff was central.  The size of the venue offered a more intimate environment, and encouraged more interactive exchange between district staff and clubs.
By limiting duration to an hour or so, it's not overwhelming and easier for our group to absorb and retain. Featuring only two avenues of service were also more focused. Rotary work day suggestions and job shadowing program were well received and considered practical and easily-replicable projects. Group 11 attendees felt they were able to take the ideas back to their club to implement them. 
The first presentation of the evening was given by Larry Edwards (Rotary Club of Solvang) on the district's Job Shadowing Program followed up with a question and answer period.
Promoting Student Awareness (of Vocational Opportunities) Through Job Shadowing

Not every student will go to college.  Nor should they.  Many will be happier and better off as workers who help fill the significant gap between the skill set of our labor force and the needs of employers in the workplace.  But how are students to know what vocational opportunities are available?  That’s where “job shadowing” comes in, an organized visit by students to actual places of business to observe various types of work being done.

Rotary is well-suited to initiate, coordinate, and facilitate job shadowing projects among high schools. This is because Rotarians are leaders in their communities, plus they know other business, professional and community leaders.  Rotary’s purpose is service, and Rotarians have an abundance of the requisite resources; namely time, energy and connections.  Monetary requirements are nil.

In the model the Rotary Club of Solvang developed a few years ago, what is needed is a degree of collaboration as between the Regional Occupational Program/Career Technical Education (ROP/CTE) representative of a County Office of Education and an interested ROP/CTE faculty member at a high school.  A Rotary Club’s role is to initiate and organize the project, and then to identify and “recruit” business leaders, both within the Club and outside of Rotary to serve as “Host Organizations” (Hosts) who are willing to have interested students visit their premises to observe what goes on.  Under an umbrella of the County ROP/CTE Office there should be no cost or liability for Hosts. Once an appropriate group of Hosts are recruited and registered with the county and the high school, then it is the role and responsibility of the high school to arrange job shadowing visits as between students and Hosts.

Benefits of such a program accrue directly to participating students who become aware of vocational opportunities. Hosts may identify potential new employees.  For a Rotary Club such a project also represents an opportunity to promote its brand in the community and to contact a pool of potential new members who are also leaders. A further advantage is that the project should be sustainable, as additional classes of eligible students arrive yearly.

For additional information, and/or to receive a set of pro-forma organizational documents that can easily be modified, contact Jeff King, Assistant District Governor of Group 10, at (805) 710-6191 or jeffreyking@charter.net, or Larry Edwards, currently President of Solvang Rotary at (805) 686-8620 or at ledwards@montecito.bank.
The second presentation of the evening was given by Fernando Aguirre (Bakersfield East Rotary) current District 5240 Community Service Director 2018-2019.

The presentation went through many topics in regards to Community Service at the local level as well what District staff can do to assist the clubs with questions and resolutions of issues that may arise. Important topics covered included...
  1. Why Community Service is important in every community.
  2. Why participating in community service projects will not only benefit the community but Rotarians and volunteers as well.
  3. Why it is important to put together multiple Rotary Club Community Service Projects or join another club in their projects.
  4. Why it is important to have continuity in their clubs from year to year (share the knowledge of previous directors).
  5. Keep you club informed on monthly or quarterly basis on what is happening with community service. 
  6. Importance of recognizing those in your club, Interact, Rotaract or community individuals who help or support club projects (Service Above Self) or (Spirit of Rotary) for community partners.
  7. Update on the need to revamp the District Community Service Projects page with current projects their clubs are doing on annual ongoing basis.