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Career Pathways Trust Grants Awarded to Build Regional Infrastructure for Linked Learning

May 30, 2014 | Linked Learning Alliance

Sacramento – The Linked Learning Alliance is celebrating the award of Career Pathways Trust grants to communities and regions committed to building systemic partnerships between schools, community colleges, and employers in order to make Linked Learning opportunities available to students at scale. Linked Learning integrates rigorous academics with engagement in real-world professions and simultaneously prepares students for college and career.

“Linked Learning has been a California innovation with extraordinary promise for college and career readiness for all students, and today it goes statewide with these Career Pathways Trust grants,” said Christopher Cabaldon, Executive Director of the Linked Learning Alliance. “The significant number of regions that applied for Career Pathways Trust grants shows the tremendous demand for Linked Learning by young people, their families, schools, colleges, employers, and communities. Students want to experience Linked Learning because it is relevant, engaging, rigorous, and connected to real-world professions. Educators and employers want students to have Linked Learning because it is effective at preparing young people for the full range of future options after high school.

“The Career Pathways Trust is the capstone accelerator of Senator Darrell Steinberg’s visionary legislative efforts to make quality Linked Learning available to all students in California. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and his team at the California Department of Education deserve great credit for stewarding the Trust and the highly competitive award process to further strengthen California’s commitment to building Linked Learning infrastructure across the state.

“We encourage the Legislature and Governor Brown to provide additional funding for the Career Pathways Trust in the state budget so that students in additional regions of our state can benefit from investment in strong connections between schools and employers,” Cabaldon concluded.

Collaboration between educators and employers is fundamental to the transformative Linked Learning approach that integrates college and career readiness. The Career Pathways Trust grants provide seed funds to establish innovative, systemic, and sustainable coordination across regions so that all students can equitably access quality Linked Learning opportunities.

The winners of the Career Pathways Trust competition were announced by Superintendent Torlakson. Antioch Unified, Long Beach Unified, and Porterville Unified school districts that are serving as mentor districts in the state Linked Learning Pilot Program are included in regions that were awarded funding in the more competitive tier of the Career Pathways Trust.

“The competition for Career Pathways Trust grants provided incentive for educators and business partners to engage at a deeper level than ever before,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. “The real winners of this competition are the students across California who will benefit as a result of these partnerships.”

Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg introduced and secured funding for the $250 million Career Pathways Trust in the 2013-14 state budget.

“These grant awards open the door for tens of thousands of students across California to experience academics applied to the careers they want to pursue,” said Senator Steinberg. “Those pathways can also lead to developing relationships with professionals who connect classroom learning to the real world, and getting internships that will give them a leg up in college and the workplace. The intense competition for these grants demonstrates the value of the Career Pathways Trust to our students, educators and businesses. The demand is high because the need is great. That’s why I’m pushing hard this year for an additional $300 million in career pathways grants.”

“The Career Pathways Trust competition ignited important conversations about the need for business and education to partner more meaningfully and effectively than ever before,” said Tim Rainey, Executive Director of the California Workforce Investment Board. “Now regions will be working collaboratively to make Linked Learning a critical component to region-wide workforce development strategies. The Career Pathways Trust grants will be a game changer in making this approach available at scale.”

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