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Vital Link Education-Business Consortium

 15401 Red Hill Avenue, Suite F
 Tustin, CA 92780
[P] (949) 646-2520
[F] (949) 646-2523
www.vitallinkoc.org
[email protected]
Kathy Johnson
FOUNDED: 1989
INCORPORATED: 1995
 Printable 1 Page Summary
 Printable Profile
Organization DBA Vital Link
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years No
Employer Identification Number 33-0632256 00000

Summary


Mission StatementMORE »

Vital Link's mission is to be the link between business and education to prepare students for the successful transition to a meaningful career and help them explore, discover and connect to their future career.

Mission Statement

Vital Link's mission is to be the link between business and education to prepare students for the successful transition to a meaningful career and help them explore, discover and connect to their future career.


FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year 2019
Projected Expenses $1,064,409.14
Projected Revenue $1,084,137.47

ProgramsMORE »

  • Design Build Competition
  • RobotOC Competition
  • UCI - Energy Invitational
  • Rescue Robotics
  • OC Maker Challenge

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Overview


Mission Statement

Vital Link's mission is to be the link between business and education to prepare students for the successful transition to a meaningful career and help them explore, discover and connect to their future career.


Background Statement

Mission Statement: To be the link between business and education to prepare students for the successful transition to a meaningful career and help them explore, discover, and connect to their future career. Upon graduation, all students will have the knowledge, resources and support necessary to create an education plan that prepares them for their future career of choice.
Background: The Vital Link organization is focused on the development and implementation of Career Exploration Programs that use a unique and experiential model of delivery that connects the world of work to students in a real way. This program is designed to address the needs of employers for a highly trained workforce in all industry sectors with a special focus in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).
Vital Link acts as an intermediary between the business community and the educational institutions in the county. In this role we provide the important link between the academic and the work world to better prepare students for entering a career path that aligns with their talents, aptitudes, and interests.
History: Vital Link was founded in 1995 in response to a need indicated by national studies that America’s high school graduates must strengthen their skills to successfully compete in the global economy. Roger Johnson, President of Western Digital, along with faculty from UCI established Vital Link as a non-profit to integrate soft-skills training into the high school curriculum to better prepare young adults for the work force. The curriculum was integrated into existing vocational training programs and offered as a zero-period class. In 2001, Kathy Johnson accepted the Executive Director position after serving on the Vital Link board for one year. Her leadership with the Home Builders Council and experiences in property management and the construction industry launched Vital Link in new directions that reinvigorate interests of career technical education at the district level. Since then, Vital Link has launched its Career Exploration Programs, Career Exploration Exhibits, various student competitions, the STEM and the Arts Career Showcase (re-branded for 2019 into the STEAM Career Leadership Conference), week-long academies, and the internship matching website OCInternship.com. In 2010, Career Technical Education O.C. (CTEoc) was established to create a regional delivery model for industry input that is required by the district for CTE classes.

Impact Statement

Accomplishments:
  1. The successful delivery for seven years of the STEM & the Arts Career Showcase serving up to 8,500 students and their parents each year.
  2. The production of 10 soft skills curriculum videos in partnership with major Orange County corporations.
  3. Development and delivery of a Career Technical Education Exploration Summer Academy.
Goals:
  1.  Migrate from the old database platforms into a modern Salesforce full-functionality CRM system.
  2. Due to the success of the Career Technical Education Exploration Summer Academy, take the curriculum and content from that Academy and create a new program called Career Launch and Learn, delivered in multiple school districts throughout the school year.
  3. Expand the grade level and school district participation in our Project-Based Learning programs.
  4. Re-brand the STEM & the Arts Career Showcase into the STEAM Career Leadership Conference, and expand it to be able to meet the deliverable need of leadership skills for Orange County students.

Needs Statement

1. Increase business volunteer participation in supporting the programs as industry-specific content experts and logistics volunteers.
2. Expand volunteer participation on our Programs, Marketing and Finance committees.
3. For each Project-Based Learning program, find a professional association in a related field to champion the program as an organization and as individual members. Have them embrace the program and participate financially, as volunteers and with their expertise. 

CEO Statement

Vital Link is very appreciative of our business partners and their support of our programs. The success of those programs is very intertwined with the involvement of the business community in bringing industry relevance to students.

Vital Link is the only Orange County nonprofit organization that has within its structure a formalized collaboration with members from 22 county high school, Regional Occupational Program and community college school districts. This collaboration is fundamental to the innovation and development of Project-Based Learning curriculum and program integration into the school system. Monthly, the CTE directors from each of the districts meet to address innovative program development and to support the vision of how the county’s schools can deliver Project-Based Learning.

Vital Link is different because our Project-Based Learning programs and skills-based learning are delivered at a very high technical level, on par with or even further advanced than some of the nationally recognized organizations that provide Project-Based Learning, but our local programs are much less expensive for student participation, and the students are still able to gain the experience of the technical high level and quality of program. There are smaller organizations that do Project-Based Learning in a single subject area at select schools and not on a regional basis, but they do not provide the same level of sophistication as Vital Link’s programs.

Another benefit of having the Project-Based Learning programs and competitions delivered locally is that the students’ parents can be a part of supporting their child’s participation in these programs. Making the programs more accessible is critical to engage more parents in learning about what their student is doing, and the likelihood is much higher that they will be able to better support them in their academic choices. Parent engagement is a huge factor in student success, and this is particularly profound in this demographic. Educating the parent is as important as educating the student about the potential of their child and the potential of the possible education paths.


Board Chair Statement

The Vital Link Board of Directors is dedicated to serving the students and educators of Orange County with our career exploration initiatives. Through the hours of dedication put in by our wonderful staff to bridge the link between education and businesses, Vital Link is the leader in career exploration for students at the middle school, high school, and college levels. Our outreach to the youth of Orange County spans across the spectrum, from hands-on workshops and competitions, to providing tours and events at colleges and businesses throughout Orange County.

Vital Link also supports the great teachers of Orange County through our professional development services, and through Career Technical Education (“CTEoc”, a collaborative that includes all CTE directors from the Orange County School Districts, ROPs, and community colleges). We are at the forefront of connecting educators to share resources and building the bridge from them to industry. The California Department of Education considers Vital Ink as a model for Career Technical Education programs, and as a platform for educators to stay relevant in our fast and growing world.

All of this culminates into preparing the youth of Orange County to face the job market(s) of future, and provide businesses with future employees who are better prepared to face the future. By expanding their minds through interactive programs and experiences, Vital Link provides a hands-on education like no other.

It is the great honor for all of us on the Vital Link Board of Directors to continue to provide these offerings to the Orange County Educational Community. We are committed to providing the highest level of commitment, dedication, and customer service to our partners!

Bo Wang, Chairman of the Board

Other Ways to Donate/Volunteer

Volunteer Opportunities:Program volunteersSubject expertsCommittee and Board member serviceAdvisory Board service In-Kind donations:Technology - software and equipmentTruck for transporting exhibitsOther - i.e. office supplies, auctions items, event venue Financial support:SponsorshipAnnual CampaignProgram funding and expansions

Geographic Area Served

In a specific U.S. city, cities, state(s) and/or region.
North Orange County
West Orange County
South Orange County
Central Orange County

Vital Link serves Southern California, particularly  Orange County, California

Organization Categories

  1. Education - Educational Services
  2. -
  3. -

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Programs


Design Build Competition

One of Vital Link’s Project-Based Learning programs is the two-day Design Build Competition, which just completed its 30th year.  In this competition, teams of students build a one-room building, and we partner with local building inspectors, the Building Industry Association of Southern California and their individual member companies. The students work all year in their construction classes to prepare for this final demonstration of their skills. The final event is hosted by Reliable Lumber, a long-term supporter, at their facility, adding to the realism of the program.
Budget  $7,000.00
Category  Education, General/Other Vocational Education
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years) At-Risk Populations General/Unspecified
Program Short-Term Success  The immediate outcomes resulting from the annual delivery of the Design Build program are students who develop a passion for a career in the building industry.
Program Long-Term Success 

Thirty years ago, Vital Link’s president, Kathy Johnson, was the owner of a construction company. While serving on the board of directors of the Building Industry Association, she started the Design Build Competition, which was the first Project-Based Learning program in Orange County. The Building Industry Association has continued to support the program, now going into its 31st year. When Kathy became president of Vital Link in 2001, she brought Vital Link and the Building Industry Association together, with Vital Link managing the education side of it, and the Building Industry Association supporting the program through industry connections. Design Build has continued since then, serving as a model for Project-Based Learning. Based on that model, Vital Link built its other Project-Based Learning programs. Design Build continues each year to teach young people about careers in the building industry.

Program Success Monitored By  Program success is monitored by the participation numbers from year to year.
Examples of Program Success  --

RobotOC Competition

In Vital Link’s RobotOC Competition, the students build and program Vex robots. Many high school administrators approached Vital Link to request a local/regional program that would introduce their students to the exciting world of robotics engineering and programming competitions without the additional financial burden of traveling to national competition locations. Vital Link utilized the Vex Robotics nationally recognized equipment that introduces middle school and high school students to the science of robotics engineering to create a customized Project-Based Learning model for Orange County schools.

Budget  $6,000.00
Category  Education, General/Other Education & Technology
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) At-Risk Populations General/Unspecified
Program Short-Term Success 
  1. This program offers activities that go beyond the scope of the individual classroom. Teachers work together across district lines to design and develop best practices, sharing ideas, equipment and resources to support each other and to make RobotOC a successful learning experience. This regional collaborative model is evident during the competition when teams share resources on competition day. This level of cooperation is only possible when the teachers have forged productive relationships. Though there are winners in this competition, there is a spirit of cooperation that provides a robust learning experience and a spirit of scientific discovery for all participants.
  2. Students learn the Performance Engineering Model of scientific discovery that is taught in the classroom. Much like industry professionals, students learn to continually build, test and modify to enhance the functionality of their robot. 
Program Long-Term Success 

The primary learning objective of the RobotOC program is to develop engineering and programming skills in today’s youth and is closely tied to the Orange County School District’s vision for infusing students with a 21st century skill set. This program supports a local/regional approach to professional development among the instructors of the participating schools. An additional benefit is that the program provides support to the education and career pathway development being encouraged by the State of California Department of Education.   

Program Success Monitored By 

Vital Link staff will track the measurable outcomes of the RobotOC program by comparing growth numbers from year to year in the following areas:

Number of schools registered for the RobotOC competition.
Number of teachers delivering curriculum in their classrooms.
Number of students directly served by the RobotOC program.
Percentage growth comparison from previous academic year to current year. 



Examples of Program Success  --

UCI - Energy Invitational

The UCI PERFORMANCE ENGINEERING PROJECT, founded in 1998 by Professor Michael McCarthy, Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at UCI, is a time trial that tests student-built energy efficient vehicles. In 2011, Vital Link expanded the college competition to include high school. In 2019, Vital Link is expanding it even further to include middle school.
Students in classes and clubs build their vehicles from the ground up by modifying existing vehicles, or from kits using a combination of energy sources. As students build their prototype, they acquire an understanding of electrical and mechanical engineering, aerodynamics, physics, materials science, alternative fuels, statistics, algebra, CAD/3D printing, technology and fabrication. They also learn about entrepreneurship, marketing and general management skills.
Budget  $36,500.00
Category  Science & Technology, General/Other Engineering
Population Served General/Unspecified
Program Short-Term Success  At the end of the competition, the student will have a sense of accomplishment, achievement and satisfaction along with increased knowledge and skills. Because of the removal of the grade level limitations, the level of their innovation is unlimited. They are allowed to achieve the highest level of accomplishment based on their abilities and talents, and it is not capped by their grade level.
Program Long-Term Success  The Energy Invitational will link students to their aptitudes and talents as project-based learning aligned with potential careers for their future. Eighty percent of participating students will build skills and gain industry-related knowledge to better prepare themselves to select a career path. Teacher surveys will measure these results.
Program Success Monitored By 
1. Sessions are held throughout the year with the instructors of the program to discuss the elements of success and the obstacles, and those issues are tackled at that time and adjustments are made as the program evolves and grows.
2. A final debriefing session is held at the end of the competition to prepare for any changes or adjustments that will need to be made for the next year. The teachers are testing and improving the program, which then evolves as it goes on. They design, test, identify weaknesses, make improvements to the program, and test again, in the same way the students design, test, identify weaknesses, make improvements to their product, and test again. This is the real world industry model of design and implementation, called “performance engineering.”
Examples of Program Success  --

Rescue Robotics

The RESCUE ROBOTICS COMPETITION challenges students to build and program robots that can help save lives during a disaster. Students learn to program a team of robots and drones that identify victims in a simulated outdoor disaster area, and are then judged based on the number of victims their autonomous robots locate. Rescue Robotics was developed in partnership with UCI to foster computer programming skills in today’s youth.
Budget  $19,000.00
Category  Science & Technology, General/Other Computer & Information Science
Population Served General/Unspecified
Program Short-Term Success  At the end of the competition, the student will have a sense of accomplishment, achievement and satisfaction along with increased knowledge and skills. Because of the removal of the grade level limitations, the level of their innovation is unlimited. They are allowed to achieve the highest level of accomplishment based on their abilities and talents, and it is not capped by their grade level.
Program Long-Term Success  The Rescue Robotics program will link students to their aptitudes and talents as project-based learning aligned with potential careers for their future. Eighty percent of participating students will build skills and gain industry-related knowledge to better prepare themselves to select a career path. Teacher surveys will measure these results.
Program Success Monitored By 
1. Sessions are held throughout the year with the instructors of the program to discuss the elements of success and the obstacles, and those issues are tackled at that time and adjustments are made as the program evolves and grows.
2. A final debriefing session is held at the end of the competition to prepare for any changes or adjustments that will need to be made for the next year. The teachers are testing and improving the program, which then evolves as it goes on. They design, test, identify weaknesses, make improvements to the program, and test again, in the same way the students design, test, identify weaknesses, make improvements to their product, and test again. This is the real world industry model of design and implementation, called “performance engineering.”
Examples of Program Success  --

OC Maker Challenge

The OCMAKER CHALLENGE brings 3D printers to middle schools, high schools, and colleges, and gives students the opportunity to develop an innovative 3D model. Students work in teams to identify a unique problem, document their solutions, and present a physical prototype of their invention for evaluation. The products are judged based on creativity, innovation, and marketability. Student creations have ranged from an innovative fork to a useful modification of a wheelchair. Vital Link’s goal is to have at least one 3D printer in each school in Orange County.
Budget  $6,000.00
Category  Science & Technology, General/Other Engineering & Technology
Population Served General/Unspecified
Program Short-Term Success  At the end of the competition, the student will have a sense of accomplishment, achievement and satisfaction along with increased knowledge and skills. Because of the removal of the grade level limitations, the level of their innovation is unlimited. They are allowed to achieve the highest level of accomplishment based on their abilities and talents, and it is not capped by their grade level.
Program Long-Term Success  Eighty percent of the students participating in the OC Maker Challenge will have gained the skills and knowledge to develop, design and build a product prototype using a 3D printer.
Program Success Monitored By 
1. Sessions are held throughout the year with the instructors of the program to discuss the elements of success and the obstacles, and those issues are tackled at that time and adjustments are made as the program evolves and grows.
2. A final debriefing session is held at the end of the competition to prepare for any changes or adjustments that will need to be made for the next year. The teachers are testing and improving the program, which then evolves as it goes on. They design, test, identify weaknesses, make improvements to the program, and test again, in the same way the students design, test, identify weaknesses, make improvements to their product, and test again. This is the real world industry model of design and implementation, called “performance engineering.”
Examples of Program Success  --

Management


CEO/Executive Director Ms. Kathy Johnson
CEO Term Start July 2003
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience

Kathy Johnson, President, Vital Link of Orange County

Kathy Johnson, as President of Vital Link, is responsible for the leadership and oversight of the nonprofit organization and its strategic planning of vision and growth. Before joining Vital Link, Kathy owned and operated a residential Property Management company for 20 years. Her very first construction project was designing and building her home at the age of 24. As a business owner within the construction industry, she was, and continues to be, a member of their professional association called the Home Builders Council and the Building Industry Association of Southern California. In her role at the Building Industry Association, she served on the board in 1994. It was during her experience there, that she also developed the Design Build Competition, and in 2002 played a role in the development of the BITA Academies, which are still being offered today throughout southern California. Kathy received the Financial and Legal Management for Nonprofits Certificate from CSUF, prior to joining Vital Link in 2001. At Vital Link, she was instrumental in the innovations and development of Project-based Learning programs that Vital Link continues to develop and deliver in the Orange County schools. The organization has expanded under her leadership and now serves thousands of students. Kathy received her private pilot’s license at the age of 23. In her spare time, she loves to travel and spend time with her family.

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Josh Estonilo Exhibit Manager --
Arantxa Guillen Program Director --
Cliff Wright Business Partnership Development Manager --

Awards

Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --

Affiliations

Affiliation Year
-- --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --

Collaborations

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Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 9
Number of Part Time Staff 11
Number of Volunteers 350
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % --
Staff Professional Development --

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 3
Caucasian: 9
Hispanic/Latino: 5
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: --
Other (if specified): Middle Eastern - 1
Gender Female: 10
Male: 10
Not Specified --

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? --
Organization has Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers 3
Management Succession Plan --
Organization Policies And Procedures Under Development
Business Continuity of Operations Plan --

Risk Management Provisions

Nondiscrimination Policy --
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy --

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? --
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency -- --
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency -- --
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency -- --

Government Licenses

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CEO Comments

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Foundation Comments

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Governance


Board Chair Mr. Bo Wang
Board Chair Company Affiliation Precision Optical
Board Chair Term Oct 2018 - Sept 2019
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Kenneth August August Law Group, P.C. Voting
Erick Briggs Network Kinnection Voting
J.S. Coke Coastline ROP Voting
Tuan Do Newfront Insurance Voting
Israel Dominguez Saddleback College Voting
Brian Dozer Webster University Voting
Traci Eggert College & Career Advantage Voting
Debra Friedman Saddleback Valley USD Voting
Lindsey Goetsch Eon Reality Voting
Misha Houser Autonomy Foundation Voting
Kathy Johnson Vital Link NonVoting
Von Lawson Santiago Canyon College Voting
Daksha Luhar State Street Voting
Lindburgh McPherson Wilcox Manor Voting
Phil Pisano Gina's Pizza Voting
Truman Pollard The Art Institute of Orange County Voting
Tom Shoemaker KMJ Cobin & Company Voting
Renah Walzinger Saddleback College Voting
Bo Wang Precision Optical Voting
Anne Younglove Newport Mesa USD Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Additional Board Members and Affiliations

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 2
Caucasian: 16
Hispanic/Latino: 1
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: --
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 8
Male: 12
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits --
Board Meeting Attendance % 80%
Written Board Selection Criteria --
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy --
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 65%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 35%
Board Orientation --

CEO Comments

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Foundation Comments

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Standing Committees

  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Program / Program Planning

Financials


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Revenue $1,104,771 $1,054,731 $1,369,712
Total Expenses $1,101,429 $1,054,142 $1,379,189

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Revenue By Revenue Source
Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$70,025 $121,234 $129,018
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- $0 --
Individual Contributions -- -- --
Indirect Public Support -- $0 --
Earned Revenue $993,652 $933,489 $1,200,115
Investment Income, Net of Losses -- $8 $35
Membership Dues -- $0 --
Special Events -- $0 --
Revenue In-Kind $41,094 $0 $40,544
Other -- $0 --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Expense By Type
Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Program Expense $996,342 $949,001 $1,293,486
Administration Expense $94,782 $92,025 $72,976
Fundraising Expense $10,305 $13,116 $12,727
Payments to Affiliates -- $0 --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.00 1.00 0.99
Program Expense/Total Expenses 90% 90% 94%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 15% 11% 10%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Assets $325,165 $303,465 $255,832
Current Assets $314,066 $282,240 $232,225
Long-Term Liabilities -- $0 --
Current Liabilities $196,249 $172,455 $125,411
Total Net Assets $128,916 $131,010 $130,421

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 1.60 1.64 1.85

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%
Endowment Value --
Spending Policy --
Percentage(If selected) --
Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? --
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? --

CEO Comments

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Foundation Comments

Summary financial data is per the audited financial statements and Form 990s and consultation with the organization. Foundation/corporate and individual contributions are combined under Foundation and Corporation Contributions.