20 Aug 2014
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Cradle to Career: Santa Monica Invests in Human Capital

Consultant Jonathan Mooney explains the collaborative Cradle to Career initiative, which seeks to invest in its students by pooling government and corporate resources and by improving data and communications.

At Santa Monica's TEDx event a few weeks ago, Jonathan Mooney, a Cradle to Career consultant, talked about a plan to reshape the way the education system processes students.  

Mooney argues that the current education system looks for a "silver bullet" when it comes to figuring out what makes a student successful. 

"We all know that folks who go off to live successful lives have a continuum of intervention and a continuum of opportunity," he said.
Cradle to Career is designed to look at all aspects of education, Mooney said, outlining the programs three goals.


In a time of diminished resources, our dollars have to go farther, said Mooney. The Collective Impact Collaborative is designed around key inflection points of the human development continuum: early childhood, in- and out-of-school time, family success and sustainability, college and career readiness. The program will develop shared outcomes, shared strategies and shared common measurement and then fund them to pursue collective impact, said Mooney.

Shared Data System

The Youth Well-Being Report Card was recently released, showing the status of youth in Santa Monica. In months to follow, said Mooney, an integrated, systemic data platform will be created so that service providers can get realtime data on how a young person is doing to tailor their programs. 

  • Related: Diane Cancino, Patch blogger and volunteer program coordinator for the City of Santa Monica, wrote about the new report card on Monday.

Shared Policy

"We need a master plan to build the human capital of this city," said Mooney. 

The city of the past focuses solely on infrastructure, basic needs and economic development, said Mooney. 

"The city of the future is going to prioritize not just those things, it's going to prioritize the well-being of the human beings who live in this city," said Mooney. "And it's going to invest in that well-being and it's going to make sure that every single resident of Santa Monica, every single resident of L.A.—of any city—has an opportunity to thrive cradle to career and beyond."

Correction: Jonathan Mooney was incorrectly identified as being with the city's Community and Cultural Services Department. He is not an employee of the city of Santa Monica.

Related Content:

  • Santa Monica Takes an Important Step Towards Improving Services for Youth
  • Growing Santa Monica's 'Cradle to Career' Initiative Beyond Schools
  • Santa Monica Takes an Important Step Towards Improving Services for Youth

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