Long Beach City College earns $15 million career training grant

Long Beach City College will receive a grant of up to $15 million — its largest ever — for programs that link academics to high-growth job sectors. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson on Friday announced the award, which is part of California’s $250 million Career Pathways Trust program to move students toward college and high-demand fields. LBCC officials said they will work in partnership with Long Beach Unified School District and a network of five area colleges and 14 school districts. “The Career Pathways Trust grants will advance the Long Beach College Promise by increasing alignment and pathways for local students who want to pursue careers in advanced manufacturing and engineering technology,” said LBCC President Eloy Ortiz Oakley in a statement. “It also expands the reach of the College Promise throughout the region because the other partners have agreed to adopt elements of the Promise in their communities.” Agencies that receive the grants are charged with connecting programs with businesses in order to prepare students for jobs in the 21st century economy. Sectors targeted include health sciences, medical technology, environmental resources and digital media. Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, spearheaded the trust last year to establish a one-time $250 million competitive grant program in California’s 2013-14

budget, according to the state Department of Education. The state received 123 eligible applications requesting roughly $709 million in funding, officials said. Applicants included community college districts, county offices of education, direct-funded charter schools and school districts, officials said. Recipients, including LBUSD, which will receive up to $6 million, were chosen after application reviews and panel interviews conducted in partnership with the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office and the California Workforce Investment Board. LBUSD also will get about $1.5 million of the $15 million that’s going to the LBCC-led consortium.     Marty Alvarado, director of workforce development at LBCC, said the focus will be on local and regional activities that provide support for students through degree completion and entry into the workforce. Locally, the effort will focus on advanced manufacturing and engineering technology careers, with access to industry leaders and internships, she said. “The intent is that we are all working collaboratively to really articulate the need for industries throughout the region,” Alvarado said. The grant was praised by champions of “linked learning,” which combines education with work-based learning.     “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, in a statement. Torlakson said the partnerships funded by the grants “will bring real-world experience and hands-on learning to our students.” Steinberg called for an additional $300 million to fund the career pathway grants. Contact Josh Dulaney at 562-714-2150.