California Superintendent Torlakson Helps Launch LA HI-TECH Consortium, A Recipient Of A $15 Million California Career Pathway Trust Grant For An Unprecedented Regional Effort To Prepare Tomorrows Tech Workforce

Los Angeles, Calif., Today, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson helped launch the High-Impact Information Technology, Entertainment-Entrepreneurship, and Communication Hubs (LA HI-TECH) Regional Consortium, a recipient of a $15 million California Career Pathway Trust grant. ?”The way for our students to succeed is to be sure they graduate with skills they can apply in the real world of college and a career. California is expanding career training to prepare students for the future by giving them a taste of the working world before they leave school, and the programs we’re highlighting today are great examples of that work,” said State Superintendent Torlakson.

Torlakson was joined by Dr. Francisco Rodriguez, Chancellor of the Los Angeles Community College District, along with Dr. Robert Miller, Interim President/Superintendent of Pasadena City College; Dr. Chui L. Tsang, President/Superintendent of Santa Monica College; Ms. Reneé D. Martinez, President of Los Angeles City College; Dr. John E. Deasy, Superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District; Mr. David Rattray, SVP of Education and Workforce Development at the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce; Ms. Joni Topper, Pacific Regional Head of Government, Nonprofit, and Healthcare Banking at JPMorgan Chase & Co., Los Angeles; and Steven Glyer, Chair of the Los Angeles Orange County Regional Consortia.

The LA HI-TECH Regional Consortium seeks to become the premier training provider for the ICT sector in the region with a focus on three career pathways: Design, Visual and Media Arts; Information Support and Services; and Software and Systems Development. The Consortium aims to improve student transitions from secondary to postsecondary institutions by linking secondary learning academies to Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs at the postsecondary level with rigorous academic content. “When we incentivize collaboration between education and industry and play to our strengths, students win and the economy thrives,” said Dr. Rodriquez, Chancellor of the Los Angeles Community College District. “LACCD is a proud partner of the LA HI-TECH Regional Consortium and fully supports its vision to position the Los Angeles region to become the premier training provider and producer of an entrepreneurial and skilled workforce for our industry partners,” Rodriquez said.

LA HI-TECH is poised to meet the ICT labor market demand by preparing approximately 3,600 high school and community college students in over 56% of ICT majors at eight community colleges (Los Angeles City College, Los Angeles Mission College, Los Angeles Pierce College, Los Angeles Southwest College, Los Angeles Valley College, Pasadena City College, Santa Monica College, and West Los Angeles College), with assistance of 16 initial high school partners representing five Unified School Districts. The participating Unified School Districts include the Beverly Hills Unified School District, Culver City Unified School District, Los Angeles Unified School District, Pasadena Unified School District and the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District. “LAUSD is proud to be a partner in the LA HI-TECH grant which will link 16 of our high schools together with one or more of the community colleges in Los Angeles, Pasadena, and Santa Monica. This California Career Pathways Trust grant, coupled with the LAUSD California Career Pathways Trust grant, ‘Linked Learning, a Path to College and Career Success,’ and the work that we are doing collaboratively through the SB1070 grant, will help us build strong pathways from middle school through high school into community college and beyond,” said LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy.

Interim Superintendent-President Robert Miller of Pasadena City College praised LA HI-TECH as the model for future career and technical education. “The partnership consisting of educational providers, industry, business, Workforce Investment Boards and other supporting agencies, combines experiential and contextual-based education, including contextualized English and math skills, with a Pathways model from the early years of high-school through a workforce certificate or transfer from a local community college to a four-year university. Students emerge from the program ready to join the workforce or to go onto to higher education and the achievement of greater skills that will further stimulate our local, state and national economies. I am so proud of this Consortium, Superintendent Torlakson, our State Chancellor of the California Community Colleges, Dr. Brice Harris, and most importantly our elected officials who have had the foresight to provide the public-policy and funding for this game-changing educational model known as the California Career Pathways Trust,” Miller said.

The Consortium will employ work/project-based learning with industry partners who will offer summer internships and extend employment opportunities to students upon completion of certificates and/or AA/AS degrees. “The LA HI-TECH Regional Consortium collaboration will provide a gateway for our students to enter a clear pathway and obtain a certificate, degree and/or transfer to a four-year college or university and give them the industry skills needed to get a job. Our economy will improve, unemployment will decrease, and the workers will be homegrown,” said Los Angeles City College President Reneé D. Martinez.

The ICT sector comprises seven percent of the regional economy and is projected to increase to 13 percent in the next decade. There are over 19,000 annual job openings in Los Angeles County – 44 percent of which are considered middle-skill jobs only requiring an associate degree or less. Industry partners will play an integral role in the consortium by aligning workplace competencies with curriculum; serving as guest speakers in the classroom, mentoring students, participating as judges during regional hackathon competitions where students will use technical skills to develop viable business solutions, and offering career advice.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. announced today a $150,000 grant to the LA HI-TECH Regional Consortium. The capacity-building grant will enable the Consortium’s employment engagement coordinators to purchase the software applications needed to provide workplace-learning tools for students. The grant is part of the firm’s $250 million, five-year global initiative called New Skills at Work, which is the largest ever private-sector effort aimed at closing the skills gap that exists across many industries, where job opportunities exist but job candidates don’t have the skills to qualify.

“At JPMorgan Chase, we are committed to fostering workforce development,” said Joni Topper, Pacific regional head of government, non-profit and healthcare banking for JPMorgan Chase in Los Angeles. “As a major employer and partner of our K-12 schools, community colleges and non-profit workforce training providers, we see closing the Skills Gap and providing meaningful career pathways to good paying jobs as two of the most crucial issues of our time. By empowering students and providing them with the tools and education they need to succeed, we are ensuring a strong and bright economic future for California,” Topper said.

Major partners of LA HI-TECH include Amazon Web Services, HBO West Coast Production, IATSE, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce/ Bixel Exchange, City of Los Angeles Mayor’s Office, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Innovate Pasadena, City of Los Angeles Workforce Investment Board and the Economic and Workforce Development Department, County of Los Angeles Workforce Investment Board, Leaders on Fast Track (LOFT), Fremantle Media, Small Business Development Centers, and 3S Global Business Solutions.

Pictured from left to right: Dr. Monte E. Perez, Dr. Chui L. Tsang, Steven Glyer, Ms. Renee D. Martinez, State Superientendent Tom Torlakson, Ms. Joni Topper, Dr. Francisco Rodriguez and Dr. Robert B. Miller.


The LA HI-TECH Regional Consortium is a formal membership of educational, private, and public partners who are committed to strengthening strategic partnerships and career pathways across five K-12 systems, three community college districts, and a host of industry and community partners that align with the ICT sector. The consortium’s directive is to create a vibrant ecosystem to develop and sustain a highly skilled and competitive workforce that contributes to the economic growth of the region. The Consortium consists of eight (8) community colleges, sixteen (16) high schools, and over 50 public and private partners. The program will affect approximately three-thousand six-hundred (3600) students who will enroll into a career pathway of their choice, to include: 1) Design, Visual, and Media Arts; 2) Information Support and Services; and 3) Software and Systems Development over a period of five years.

Release Date: 09/08/2014
Contact: Dr. Valerie Wardlaw , Interim Director, Public Relations
Phone: (626) 585-7468