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Regional Occupational Centers and Programs (ROCPs): career and workforce preparation for high school students and adults, preparation for advanced training, and the upgrading of existing skills.

California's 74 Regional Occupational Centers and Programs (ROCP) have been a strong and integral part of California's educational system for over 40 years. ROCPs provide high school students 16 years of age and older, and also adult students, with valuable career and technical education so students can (1) enter the workforce with skills and competencies to be successful, (2) pursue advanced training in postsecondary educational institutions, or (3) upgrade existing skills and knowledge.

Approximately 470,000 students enroll in ROCPs each year. Students receive training at a variety of venues from regular classrooms on high school campuses to actual businesses and industry facilities, such as automotive dealerships and hospitals. In most ROCPs, courses are offered during the regular school day throughout the school year, in the late afternoon and evening, and sometimes during the summer months. ROCPs provide rigorous and high quality programs which contribute to students' academic and career achievement which, in turn, support the economic development of the state. Students gain a unique edge in the workforce by successfully completing ROCP training. Student enrollment in ROCPs varies from small numbers in rural northern California to thousands in large urban areas. ROCPs help to close the "achievement gap" by motivating students to learn both academic and occupational skills for future success in a career of the student's choosing.

In addition to the specific skills and comprehensive career education offered, ROCPs also offer employment survival skills in many aspects of a particular industry sector, placement assistance, counseling and guidance services, and other critical support services for students. ROCPs fall under one of three distinct organizational structures: (1) school districts participating in a county office of education operated ROCP, (2) school districts participating under a joint powers agreement, or (3) a single school district. ROCPs in California collaborate with public agencies and associations to create and implement important instructional classes and programs. Examples of these programs include: Certified Nurse Assistant/Home Health Care Aide (CNA/HCA), Automotive Youth Education Systems Programs (AYES), ROCP California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs), and SkillsUSA. One of the strengths of the ROCP delivery system is that ROCPs work in partnership with local businesses and industries to design and provide programs for industry-based, transferable and portable certification programs based upon job market demand.

Many ROCPs work in partnership with a variety of California labor organizations to provide apprenticeship related and supplemental instruction to the more than 25,000 apprentices in California's trade careers.

ROCPs are a major resource in California's workforce development system to address the shortage of a highly qualified, skilled, and diverse workforce. Preparing California's youth and adults to be successful in the workforce adds to the economic well-being of California.

For programmatic questions:

Career Technical Education Leadership Office
Phone: 916-322-5050

The Career Technical Education Leadership Office (CTELO) provides technical assistance to all ROCPs in the following areas:


Information and resources to help ROCPs maintain compliance with federal and state law.

Direct Support Professional Training Program

  • Information and resources for Regional Occupational Centers Programs that offer required training necessary for individuals to work in community care licensed facilities.

Certified Nursing Program

California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs)

The California Department of Education (CDE) distributes funding to Regional Occupational Centers and Programs for educational activities for welfare recipient students and those in transition off of welfare. The educational activities are limited to those designed to increase self-sufficiency, job training, and work.

For information on California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) funding, please visit the CDE Funding Web page. From the Funding Web page, select "Search CDE Funding," type CalWORKs in the box under the header "keyword(s)," and select "Search CDE Funding."

CalWORKs program contact:
Charlene Cowan, Education Programs Consultant
Phone: 916-323-4747


Contact Information

Career Technical Education Leadership Office
Career and College Transition Division
California Department of Education
1430 N Street, Suite 4202
Sacramento, CA 95814

Questions:   CTE Leadership Office | 916-322-5050
Last Reviewed: Friday, January 12, 2024