A regional consortium led by Ventura County Community College District (VCCCD) has been awarded a $13.2 million grant from the California Department of Education. VCCCD will serve as the fiscal agent for the multi-year project called “Ventura County (VC) Innovates.” The project is designed to better prepare future workers and leaders for the local workforce, develop project-based career technical education curriculum, provide work-based learning opportunities for all students, and address skill shortages in high-demand, high-growth industries and occupations. Goals focus on creating sustained career pathways from high school through community college, increasing articulation agreements between high schools and community colleges, increasing dual enrollment opportunities for high school students, and increasing employment and career opportunities for all students.
The regional consortium includes VCCCD, seven high school districts representing 15 high schools, three adult schools, and over 50 employers and community partners. Participating districts and school partners include Simi Valley Adult School; Ventura Adult and Continuing Education; Conejo Valley Adult School; Conejo Valley Unified School District (Newbury Park High School, Thousand Oaks High School, Westlake High School); Fillmore Unified High School District; Moorpark Unified School District (Moorpark High School, Community High School); Ojai Unified School District (Nordhoff High School); Santa Paula Unified School District (Santa Paula High School); Simi Valley Unified School District (Royal High School, Santa Susana High School, Simi Valley High School, Apollo Continuation School); Ventura Unified School District (Buena High School, Foothill Technology High School, Ventura High School); and the Ventura County Office of Education.
The VCCCD Board of Trustees will take action to accept the award at its Board meeting on June 17 at the District Administrative Center in Ventura. “The Board congratulates staff and our community partners on their collaborative efforts, which have resulted in a successful outcome,” stated Board Chair, Art Hernández. VCCCD Chancellor, Dr. Jamillah Moore, commented, “We are proud to be in a position to partner with our colleagues in education to make a difference for years to come.”
The California Career Pathways Trust was established in 2013 by the State Legislature under Assembly Bill 86 to provide a one-time competitive grant to K-12 schools and community colleges that will better prepare students for the 21st century workplace. Groups throughout the State of California competed for $250 million in available grant funding. State officials received 123 eligible applications requesting approximately $709 million. VC Innovates was one of 12 grant recipients in the category receiving up to $15 million.