CalChamber-Backed Bill Extends Program to Help Meet Workforce Needs

A California Chamber of Commerce-supported bill that helps the state meet future workforce needs and ensures more Californians will have the training they need to find good jobs, is awaiting action on the Senate Floor.

SB 66 (Leyva; D-Chino) will help improve the relevance of Career Technical Education (CTE) courses offered by the state’s community colleges by allowing them to use state licensing data to track the success of students once they leave school and enter the workforce. This will give the colleges more information to help guide future workforce development policies.

The measure also eases administrative burdens for the community colleges by streamlining their reporting and accountability metrics related to workforce and economic development, and by aligning those elements to the ones required by the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

Closing Workforce Gap

SB 66 implements one of the CalChamber-endorsed recommendations to close the workforce gap. In November 2015, the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges unanimously approved recommendations of a special task force on how to strengthen workforce education throughout the 113-college system. California Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Allan Zaremberg serves as a member of the task force.

The 25 recommendations will help ensure the state has a workforce with relevant skills and quality credentials that meet employer needs. A key recommendation is to put industry at the forefront of developing career pathways and clearly defining the sequence for learning the skills industry values.

Commissioned by the Board of Governors, the Task Force on Workforce, Job Creation and a Strong Economy includes representatives from community colleges, the business community, labor groups, public agencies involved in workforce training, K-12 policymakers and community-based organizations.

It was entrusted to address California’s anticipated shortage of 1 million skilled worked with industry-valued middle-skill degrees, certificates and credentials. Task force meetings were hosted by the CalChamber.

To read the full set of recommendations, please go to http://bit.ly/1IpCGOM.

Key Votes

SB 66 unanimously passed the Senate Appropriations Committee, 7-0, on January 19.

Ayes: Bates (R-Laguna Niguel), Beall (D-San Jose), Hill (D-San Mateo), Lara (D-Bell Gardens), Leyva (D-Chino), Mendoza (D-Artesia), Nielsen (R-Gerber).

Staff Contact: Mira Morton

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