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- Skills Mismatch
On May 13, California Governor Jerry Brown proposed a revised state budget that includes a $50 million enhancement for postsecondary career and technical education. The revision was championed by the California Economic Summit’s Workforce Action Team, co-chaired by National Skills Coalition (NSC) Board member Van-Ton Quinlivan and NSC Leadership Council member Alma Salazar.
The funds will support the Workforce Development program at the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, enabling colleges to develop, enhance, and expand career and technical education programs that build on existing regional capacity to better meet regional labor market demand.
The governor also proposed increasing the funding rate for career development and college preparation noncredit courses to equal the rate provided for credit courses. As explained by the Governor’s Office, “[c]urrently, the lower funding rate, along with the higher cost of career technical education, serve as barriers to many community colleges offering career development and college preparation instruction in a manner that best supports student success.” The rates will increase beginning with the 2015-16 academic year.
Van-Ton Quinlivan, vice chancellor of Workforce and Economic Development for California Community Colleges, welcomed the governor’s support for the Workforce Action Team’s recommendations. “We are grateful for the governor’s recognition of the workforce needs of California’s regional economies. The targeted investment in career technical education in the May Revise will allow community colleges to better respond to the needs of jobs and the economy.”
Alma Salazar, with the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and co-lead of the Workforce Action Team, also applauded the governor’s announcement. “The regional framework embodied in these new funds puts California in leadership with other states focused on expanding the number of skilled workers trained to fill high-need labor market shortages.”