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California Community Colleges launches campaign on Career Education Programs

July 20, 2017
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California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office

SACRAMENTO –The California Community Colleges has launched a new campaign aimed at prospective students, both high school students and adults who want to gain new skills, as well as parents, counselors, employers, and other stakeholders to promote the benefits of California Community Colleges Career Education as an affordable, accessible pathway to a rewarding career.  

The launch event, held today at the State Capitol in Sacramento, included a press conference featuring state policymakers, higher education leaders including Eloy Ortiz Oakley, California Community Colleges chancellor; Van Ton-Quinlivan, California Community Colleges vice chancellor of workforce and economic development Division; Jim Mayer, president and CEO of California Forward; employers, Career Education graduates and current students; as well as hands-on exhibits featuring a sampling of technology demonstrations affiliated with today’s Career Education programs including Advanced Transportation and Renewables, Public Safety, Advanced Manufacturing, Energy, Construction and Utilities, and Retail, Hospitality and Tourism.

“Today the California Community Colleges launched an important effort to let all Californians know about the robust Career Education programs we offer,” said Oakley. “Our Career Education programs are the smartest, most affordable and accessible way for Californians to acquire the hands-on, high-quality skills they need to enter exciting, new and good-paying career fields – and to pursue the California Dream. Our system is one of inclusion and opportunity, and we’d like everyone to know about all we have to offer.”

The campaign includes paid advertising for use via social and traditional media (in English and Spanish), public relations efforts, multicultural outreach, local outreach events, online videos, and employer and stakeholder engagement. The campaign is broad-based, and will be rolled-out in coordination with California community college campuses, employers and businesses.

Although California is experiencing impressive economic growth, there is a widening gap between what employers need to continue that growth and what the state’s labor pool currently offers. The California Community Colleges launched this campaign because Career Education programs and apprenticeships provide important pathways for adults to boost their skills and for high school students to learn new skills for rewarding careers. 

“Both adults and high school students hesitate to pursue higher education to gain new skills and refresh existing ones because they worry about student debt,” said Van Ton-Quinlivan, Vice Chancellor of Workforce and Economic Development at the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office. “Career education offers a great pathway to increase earnings and make a living wage without that type of debt burden.”

The California Community Colleges offer more than 200 Career Education programs in fields such as advanced manufacturing, information and communication technologies/digital media, health, global trade and logistics, life sciences/biotech, agriculture, water/environment technologies and many more.

The median salary of a worker with an associate degree in a vocational career is $66,600 five years after completion (as compared to $38,500 for those with non-vocational associate degrees). According to the California Community Colleges Salary Surfer website, graduates with an Aeronautical and Aviation Technology degree could earn an annual salary of $76,187 five years after graduation; Biotechnology and Biomedical Technology graduates could earn $59,603, and a Water and Wastewater Technology degree could earn $77,973.

With 114 campuses across the state serving 2.1 million students per year, the California Community Colleges is the largest provider of workforce training in the nation. Career Education programs are developed in partnership with local industries and taught by instructors with direct work experience.

“Career Education is one of those hidden gems of our public education system here in California that needs greater awareness,” said Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva, Chair of the Jobs, Economic Development, and the Economy Committee. “We’re here today to encourage Californians to look at the amazing and affordable job training programs offered by their local community colleges. Our economy is constantly changing and evolving, and Career Education programs help Californians of all ages learn new, needed skills to enter today’s and tomorrow’s exciting career fields.”

Financial aid is also available for Career Education programs. Financial aid options include grants, scholarships, fee waivers, work study programs and more.

The promotional campaign is an output of the Strong Workforce Program, a $200 million recurring investment made by Governor Jerry Brown and the California legislature to create one million more middle-skilled workers, thereby producing a job-ready workforce for employers and enabling social mobility for more Californians.

For more information on the California Community Colleges Career Education programs, visit California Career Education website. To apply visit CCCApply.org. For financial aid visit icanaffordcollege.com.  

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