Mission Statement

The California Association of Work Experience Educators (CAWEE) will lead the way in supporting work based-learning professionals and students in grades TK-14 while educating all stakeholders on child labor laws and work permit compliance. CAWEE will continue to be the leader in promoting high quality career readiness programs.

Vision Statement

The California Association of Work Experience Educators will provide a high quality career readiness education environment that enables students to become responsible citizens! We are committed to motivating students in grades TK-14 in California by inspiring them to think critically, collaborate and communicate successfully, develop soft skills, solve problems efficiently, and incorporate technology to enrich their lives.
WE ASPIRE excellence as we instruct and prepare students for the future.
WE SERVE all students in the state and strive to met their needs and challenges.
WE VALUE each student's development, challenges and successes, as they strive to enter the world of work. 


In 1963-1964, groups of Work Experience Educators in the northern and southern regions of the state began to organize a professional association. These groups merged in 1965 to form CAWEE and held their first state convention in May, 1965.

The California Association of Work Experience Educators (CAWEE) was formed to establish and maintain guidelines for professional conduct; to provide inservice training opportunities; and to ensure that Work Experience Educators understand labor laws and regulations regarding youth employment.
Activities for members include:
  • Attending chapter meetings and workshops
  • Participating in regional conferences
  • Accessing a central location for work experience information
  • Having a "voice" on issues relating to youth training and employment
  • Networking for school-to-work implementation
  • Acquiring up-to-date legislation on work-related issues.

Today, CAWEE represents 500 of the 1,300 secondary schools in California that have Work Experience Education Programs as well as 85 of the 106 community colleges that have Cooperative Work Experience Programs.
Additional History from Archives of CAWEE

The California Association of Work Experience Educators, CAWEE, is a professional organization for, and run by, educators and career specialists who are involved in providing students with real world experience within the workplace.  This organization is dedicated to the education of not only Work Experience educators, but of School-to-Career specialists and others involved in this process. 

CAWEE represents the many schools, educators, businesses, community groups and individuals who work together as partners to help students achieve educational excellence. 

Work Experience Education Programs are designed to link the academic core curriculum with the world of work and have gained recognition as a vital component of modern education in the rapidly changing and technological society of today. 

Work Experience Education Programs utilize the community’s business and industrial complex as a career training laboratory. Students can learn or polish skills, assess capabilities while employed, or perform career exploration by observing task performance and working conditions in actual work settings. The accredited Work Experience Education Programs are: 

• General Work Experience Education: Combines related class-room instruction with paid employment providing general and specific occupational skills. Employment is not necessarily related to career interest. 

• Vocational Work Experience Education: Combines related classroom instruction with supervised paid employment directly related to the student’s occupational goal. 

• Exploratory Work Experience Education: Combines non-paid job observations and related classroom instruction in Work Experience Education for the purpose of vocational guidance. Worker’s Compensation Insurance is provided by the school district. 



1965-1966              Duane Brubaker 
1966-1967              Milan Wright 
1967-1968              Homer Schilling 
1968-1969              Vern Gillmore 
1969-1970              George Barich 
1970-1971              Gordon Ray 
1971-1972             Donald Averill 
1972-1973              Norvin Spence 
1973-1974              William Cook 
1974-1975              Elbert Garcia 
1975-1976              Homer Sweeney 
1977-1978              Bobbie Stenton-Edgin 
1978-1979              Walt Anderson 
1979-1980              Anthony Roe 
1980-1981             Ken Thomas 
1981-1982              Pat Kress 
1982-1983              Ned Davis 
1983-1984              Genevie Brown 
1984-1985              Carla Kane 
1985-1986              William Mathiasen 
1986-1987              J. Richard Koon 
1987-1988              Russ Lindgren 
1988-1989              Anji Clemens 
1989-1990              Margaret McCarthy 
1990-1991              Joel Haber 
1991-1992             John Todd  
1992-1993              Cartha Tennille 
1993-1994              William Lipschultz 
1994-1995              Allan R. Kumlin 
1995-1996              Lula Calkins 
1996-1998              Gloria McGill 
1998-1999              Jan Vach 
1999-2000              Sylvia Drucker 
2000-2001              Bev Giampietro 
2001-2002              John Pierson 
2002-2003              Peggy Bullock 
2003-2004              Greg Heguiagaray 
2004-2005              Dennis Jones
2005-2006              Thomas Anderson
2006-2007              Nellie Mendenhall
2007-2008              Thomas Anderson
2008-2009              Carol Rask
2009-2010              Robin Whetzel
2010-2011              Lori Jepson
2011-2012              Gail Sims
2012-2013              Patti Gordinier
2013-2014              Robin Whetzel
2014-2016              Tonette Slaviero  
2016-2018              Mary Jo Edmondson
2018-2020             Gail Sims