Pathways To Career Opportunity Lead Through Community College
“There’s no way to get into college..”
“There’s no jobs out there..”
..Those are recent refrains voiced by many high school graduates and their parents/caregivers from before the height of the last recession through today. And while up to 15% of high school graduates are not going to college nor finding employment, as noted in a new report by the Economic Policy Institute, things may finally start looking up.
In California’s community college system, a couple of grants totaling nearly two million dollars to provide students with in-demand career skills and valuable apprenticeships. These are great examples of how to turn things around and provide students with great career skills training in industries with solid employment opportunities, decent starting wages, and plenty of opportunity for growth.
With two great efforts funded by winning these two grants, Columbia College in the Yosemite Community College District aims to break the downward trend. The school’s Career Technical Education Division leads the way by winning the second of two $960,000 state grants, launching another initiative providing students with pathways to employment through career skills education and apprenticeships with leading companies in fields where skilled labor is in demand.
The first grant, awarded at the end of 2015, funds an apprenticeship program in Hospitality Management, which includes a wide range of culinary arts disciplines. The program gives students certificated education and partners with regional employers for comprehensive apprenticeships in leading businesses in the industry. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment growth rates in the sector are between 9% and 10% for the next 7 years, outpacing all other estimated job growth. Smart money definitely considers this area of expertise when looking for bankable jobs. With the pilot program funded by the grant, Columbia College leads the way with its innovative, collaborative, practical approach.
The most recent grant was awarded to the community college at the end of 2016 to fund career skills instruction, certificates, and apprenticeships in Automotive Technology and Child Development.
Hospitality Management, Automotive Technology, and Child Development cover a lot of ground for students seeking valuable skills training, certificates and associate’s degrees in industries with bankable careers, and as fields of study in Columbia College’s Career Technical Education Division they’re part of a much broader comprehensive program designed from the ground up to give students a leg up in today’s challenging job markets.
Add the fact that the school is one of the few community colleges with great housing right on campus, it’s a rare find that students would do well to strongly consider.