There has been a long-standing need to bring back and reinvent vocational education - to bring it into the 21St century. In 2005, a group of dedicated individuals came together to do just that. Based on sound research of labor market needs in North County, a decision was made to focus on preparing students for 21st century careers in the building and construction industry. This decision was affirmed when, in February 2006, over 100 industry professionals attended a roundtable and joined in the planning. Another roundtable was held in April, with an additional 100 people representing community colleges, state universities, apprenticeship programs, community leaders and additional industry leaders, including architects, engineers and building trades professionals.
There was a commitment to ensuring that this high school would be open to all students and ensure that they would be prepared for success in life, college and high skill, high wage careers. It was determined that opening a public charter school would be the best avenue to achieve these goals. Committees were established in curriculum and instruction, governance, facilities, and fiscal planning and operations. Together, a charter was drafted and submitted to Vista Unified School District in Fall 2006. Throughout the chartering process, there was tremendous community support for the school and in December 2006, the charter was unanimously approved by the Vista Unified School District Board of Trustees.
The school was originally scheduled to open in Fall 2007; however, the inability to find an appropriate facility that was safe and conducive to a career technical model delayed the opening until Fall 2008. The wait resulted in finding just the right facility. Trade Tech opened its doors to the class of 2012 on September 4, 2008 and is located in a beautiful, safe, tree-lined campus that previously housed a professional engineering firm.
Support for the school has had tremendous momentum and showed up in support by the community, industry professionals, and private foundations.