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State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson and State Senate Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg Invite Applications for California's $250 Million Career Pathways Trust Grants

Posted on 01/21/2014

Career Pathways

California is taking a major step toward helping to keep more students in school and better prepare them for careers and well-paying jobs as schools and education agencies across the state can now apply for grants from the state's new $250 million California Career Pathways Trust External link opens in new window or tab fund. The request for applications for programs designed to build seamless pathways between schools, higher education, and careers was announced today by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg.

"We want every student in California to graduate prepared for college and careers," Torlakson said. "We need students to be able to seamlessly transition between high school and post-secondary education, training programs, and gainful employment. Partnerships between our schools, community colleges, and businesses have the potential to make that happen."

The Career Pathways Trust provides competitive grants to create innovative programs and partnerships linking rigorous academic standards to career pathways in high-need and high-growth sectors of the economy. Through curriculum that's relevant to career interests, students will be more engaged and less likely to drop out of school while gaining better preparation for the highly complex and competitive working world of the 21st century. There will also be a significant boost to local, regional, and state economies by providing business and industry with skilled workers. California Community Colleges Chancellor Brice Harris and Workforce Investment Board Executive Director Tim Rainey joined Torlakson and Steinberg for the announcement.

"This model of learning helps bring curriculum to life, by making education more relevant to college and careers," said Steinberg. "Where this career pathways approach has been applied, we've seen reduced dropout rates and avenues to good-paying jobs. With so much attention on helping kids after they fall behind, this substantial grant reaches kids before they may fail."

Applicants for the one-time, competitive grants can include school districts, county education offices, charter schools, and community college districts. The California Career Pathways Trust, spearheaded by Steinberg and included in the state's 2013-14 budget, is administered by the California Department of Education. Grant recipients will be expected to create sustained career pathways programs that connect businesses, K–12 schools, and community colleges to better prepare students for the 21st century workplace.

"These grants will help K-12 and community college students progress through strengthened job training programs that will lead them to employment in industries that are in need of skilled workers," Harris said. "This initiative builds on the California Community Colleges strategic approach for narrowing the skills gap in our state and accelerating the economic recovery."

The grant levels can be as high as $15 million for larger regional programs. Local educational agencies interested in applying for the CCPT should submit a Letter of Intent to Apply by February 14, 2014. Applications should be submitted by March 28, 2014, on the California Department of Education's Funding External link opens in new window or tabWeb page.

Throughout the month of February, the state Education Department will be hosting a series of workshops around the state to give potential applicants a thorough overview of the application process and an opportunity to have their questions answered directly.

  • 9-11 a.m., February 5, 2014: Fresno County Office of Education, 1111 Van Ness Avenue, Fresno, CA.
  • 1-3 p.m., February 7, 2014: Health and Human Services Auditorium, 1500 Capital Avenue, Sacramento, CA.
  • 9-11 a.m., February 12, 2014: Los Angeles County Office of Education, Education Center Room 100, 9300 Imperial Highway, Downey, CA.

Source: California Department of Educaiton media release External link opens in new window or tab, 1/21/2014.