Governor Brown signed California’s 2018-19 budget with significant investments in workforce education, training, and supports. These investments include funding for programs to provide increased access to workforce education and training for individuals who have traditionally not been well-served by the existing education and training infrastructure, funding for increases in career technical education in K-12, increased financial aid for community college students, and more.
The Budget Act of 2018 includes:
- $100 million in one-time costs and $20 million in ongoing costs to create an online college to provide industry-valued credentials to meet the vocational and educational needs of Californians who are not currently accessing higher education.
- $150 million in ongoing funding for the existing CTE Incentive Grant program along with an additional $150 million of ongoing funding allocated to the California Community College Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO) to establish a K-12 component of the Strong Workforce Program with grant funding distributed by the Strong Workforce Regional Consortia. The CCCCO will also receive $14 million in ongoing funding to support Workforce Pathway Coordinators and K-14 Technical Assistance Providers to provide technical assistance for grantees of the CTE Incentive Grant program and the K-12 Strong Workforce Program.
- $15 million for grants to fund the Removing Barriers to Employment Act to provide individuals with barriers to employment with the services they need to enter, participate in, and complete broader workforce preparation, training, and education programs aligned with regional labor market needs.
- $5 million increase in funding for a reentry grant program at the community colleges to provide support for currently and formerly incarcerated students.
- $10 million to establish the California STEM Pathways Grant Program to provide students in grade 9 – 14 with educational pathways focused on STEM programs, and establish partnerships between community colleges, high school, and industry.
- $5 million in one-time funding to community colleges to support the development of career pathway programs for refugees. Funding will go to colleges that partner with nonprofit organizations with expertise in providing career readiness services to refugees.
The Budget Act also makes changes to apprenticeship programs in the community colleges by allowing some apprenticeship programs to receive community college credit, increases investments in financial aid for community college students, and requires adult education programs and community colleges to use a statewide student identifier if a student is not currently tracked in the adult education data system to allow for better tracking of student outcomes.