The recent pandemic and subsequent recession has been a wake-up call for California, creating a critical need on the part of employers, economic development organizations, education, and city governments to work closely together to foster workforce development in a much more coordinated and effective way.
California Assemblywoman Tasha Boerner Horvath
was tasked to work with economists on how to address economic recovery. Her discussions and research highlighted the need for short-term training that included paid internships. "By offering students the chance to take accelerated work training and internship courses, this program will help folks in our region gain the qualifications they need to compete for well-paying jobs, make career pivots, and more. With our economy in a period of transition, many Californians are in need of a whole different set of skills to break into lucrative industries and get ahead, and this sort of training will help them get there" explains Boerner Horvath.
The Cooperative Education Reskilling and Training Pilot Program will offer several not-for-credit programs to include engineer technician, machinist technology, unmanned systems, welding, biomedical equipment technician, and craft brewing technician, to name a few, that can be completed in 3–6 months. Each program would offer disadvantaged and unemployed adults the opportunity to reskill while gaining on-the-job experience through paid internships.
Included in Assembly Bill (AB) 132–Postsecondary Education Trailer Bill, signed by California Governor Newsom on July 27, 2021, MiraCosta College’s Technology Career Institute (TCI)
will receive $3.5 million in funding for a Cooperative Education Reskilling and Training Pilot Program. Funds will be used to support short-term programs offering disadvantaged and unemployed adults the opportunity to reskill while gaining on-the-job experience through paid internships.
“The pilot program provides rapid retraining of workers and will allow students to earn while they learn, which will enhance skill development and job placement opportunities while providing income at the same time. MiraCosta College’s Technology Career Institute has an established, successful model of accelerated training that can rapidly train technical, collaborative, critical thinking and other essential abilities for high-demand, high-skilled jobs. These types of intensive, hands-on training programs are particularly important for individuals who may face barriers to accessing training and employment opportunities, including veterans, high school and alternative high school graduates, non-traditional learners, and unemployed/ underemployed workers,” explains MiraCosta College Superintendent/President Dr. Sunita “Sunny” Cooke.
In addition to the funding allocated to MiraCosta College, AB 132 makes college more affordable and accessible to include the:
- Implementation of an expansion of Cal Grant program, improvements to the middle-class scholarship program and dual admissions pathway to UC or CSU for eligible community college students.
- Expansion of college savings accounts program for low-income and underrepresented public-school students.
- Creation of programs to help underrepresented students gain relevant work experience and support workers displaced by the pandemic with education or high-quality training grants.
- Creation of a California Comeback plan to create more slots for in-state students who wish to attend a CSU or UC school.