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California Department of Education News Release
Release: #14-58
May 30, 2014
Contact: Jazmin Ortega
E-mail: communications@cde.ca.gov
Phone: 916-319-0818

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Announces Award of Career Pathways Trust Grants Linking Education and Careers

OAKLAND—Almost 40 consortia representing hundreds of thousands of students across California are the first recipients of grants under a new $250 million program designed to help students stay in school and move toward college and employment in high-demand fields, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today.

The California Career Pathways Trust was spearheaded last year by Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg, establishing a one-time $250 million competitive grant program in the state's 2013-14 budget. Grant recipients are tasked with creating sustained career pathways programs that connect businesses, K–12 schools, and community colleges to better prepare students for the 21st century workplace. Under Torlakson, the California Department of Education (CDE) administers the program, soliciting and identifying the strongest applications based on a rigorous evaluation process carried out by the CDE and its state partners, the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office and the California Workforce Investment Board.

"To make good on our goal of a world-class education for every California student, they have to graduate with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the real world," Torlakson said. "By demonstrating the relevance of students' education, these programs not only encourage kids to stay in school, but also combine the rigorous academics and practical experience employers say they need."

State officials received 123 eligible applications containing about $709 million in requested grants, nearly triple the $250 million in available funding. Applicants included community college districts, county offices of education, direct-funded charter schools, and school districts.

"Today, educators in these districts are reaping the rewards of their hard work in formulating quality career pathways programs, but the real rewards will be realized by tens of thousands of students around California who will experience exciting new avenues to apply their education to future careers," Steinberg said. "Students who are more engaged in learning will stay in school and graduate with better preparation for college and the workforce. The fact that applications were triple the amount of money available shows the hunger for career pathway programs. That's why, this year, I'm fighting for another $300 million infusion of funding for career pathway grants. For our students and our economy, we can't afford to lose momentum."

Grant recipients this year include 12 consortia receiving up to $15 million each, 16 receiving up to $6 million each, and 11 receiving awards of up to $600,000 each. Examples of successful applicants include:

  • A consortium led by the Los Angeles Unified School District is targeting five high-skill, high-growth industry sectors ranging from Health Science and Medical Technology to Environmental Resources. Other education agencies included in this consortium are the Centinela Valley High School District and Da Vinci Science High School. Industry partners include Kaiser Permanente Southern California, the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, Gold Star Foods, Southern California Gas Company, Tyson Foods, Time Warner Cable, and the Boeing Company.
  • The East Bay I-80/880 Consortium, led by the Peralta Community College District, is focusing on preparing students for four critical sectors in the East Bay: Health Sciences, Engineering (including Advanced Manufacturing), Information and Communication Technologies/Digital Media, and Public Service. Industry partners in the consortium include Bayer, Oakland Children's Hospital, Bio-Rad, San Francisco General Hospital, Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, Turner Construction, BAYWORK, Terminal Manufacturing, Autodesk, Maxon Computer, the Alameda County Sheriff's Office, and the Richmond Police Department. 
  • Paramount Agriculture Career Academy (PACA) is a regional collaborative among the Paramount Academy charter school in Delano, four school districts, three community colleges, six major agriculture production and processing companies, and Paramount Education Programs. PACA will immerse students from five high schools in a demanding, integrated academic program of study with three agriculture-themed pathways: Agricultural Business Management, Agricultural Mechanics, and Plant Science. Executives from each company identified plant science, mechanics, and business as the fields with the greatest current and long-term needs for skilled applicants. The agriculture sector is the region's largest employer base.

"The partnerships funded by these grants will bring real-world experience and hands-on learning to our students, opening new bridges of opportunity from the classroom to success in college and careers," said Torlakson, who supports the push for more funding. "The Career Pathways Trust is a much-needed investment that will benefit our state's economy well into the future."

Listed below are the fiscal agents for each of the 39 grant recipients or consortia, all of which include multiple partners. More information on each of the consortia is available at Funding Results: California Career Pathways Trust.

Up to $15 million grant category
  • Contra Costa County Office of Education.
  • Long Beach Community College District.
  • Los Angeles Unified School District.
  • Orange County Department of Education.
  • Paramount Academy.
  • Pasadena Area Community College District.
  • Peralta Community College District.
  • Sacramento County Office of Education.
  • Sonoma County Office of Education.
  • Tulare County Office of Education.
  • Ventura County Community College District.
  • Victor Valley Community College District.
Up to $6 million grant category
  • Antelope Valley College District.
  • Butte-Glenn Community College District.
  • Elk Grove Unified School District.
  • Fullerton Joint Union High School District.
  • Glendale Unified School District.
  • John Muir Charter School.
  • Konocti Unified School District.
  • Long Beach Unified School District.
  • Los Angeles County Office of Education.
  • Montebello Unified School District.
  • Oxnard Union High School District.
  • Rancho Santiago Community College District.
  • Vallejo City Unified School District.
  • West Valley Community College District.
  • Western Placer Unified School District.
  • Yosemite Community College District.
Up to $600,000 grant category
  • Campbell Union High School District.
  • Centinela Valley Union High School District.
  • Ceres Unified School District.
  • Coronado Unified School District.
  • Inglewood Unified School District.
  • Madera Unified School District.
  • Mariposa County Unified School District.
  • Public Safety Academy.
  • San Luis Obispo County Community College District.
  • Tehachapi Unified School District.
  • W.E.B Dubois Public Charter School.

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Tom Torlakson — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5206, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

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