March 2, 2018 – -After decades of attrition and disrespect, Career Technical Education (CTE) has become a leading topic of conversation in the State Capitol.  The lack of qualified skilled employees for California’s increasing technical industries has led to a call by employer groups, especially agricultural industries, for attention to workforce development programs, beginning with CTE in high school and progressing through to community college.  With only 30% of California’s students graduating from Universities with a bachelor degree, 70% of our high school students need other training including 2-year technical degrees, certifications and ongoing professional development.  Additionally, several recent studies have shown that students with a 2-year technical degree make as much over a lifetime as graduates with 4 year degrees and they accumulate much less debt and enter the workforce more directly.  California legislators are finally taking notice.

Last week there was a Joint Informational Hearing of four committees including Assembly Education Committee, Assembly Budget Sub Committee on Education Finance, Assembly Select Committee on Career Technical Education and Building a 21st Century Workforce, and Assembly Committee on Jobs and Economic Development.  The hearing included an update on the state of CTE in high school and community colleges and the identification of best practices and how they can be replicated across systems. The committee also reviewed the current financial structure for CTE as well as proposals being advanced by both houses of the legislature to increase state monies for programs.

The Almond Alliance is working closely with both the legislature and the Governor’s office to secure funding for CTE programs.