The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

City College’s Career Technical Education and workforce training programs expand with help from New America’s $50,000 grant
Graphic created by Neezy Jeffery / [email protected]

What started out a year ago as a small gathering of four interested organizations looking to help expand educational and vocational opportunities to Sacramento region’s community college students has quickly ballooned into one with more than 20 members. 

These 20 members are assisting City College students with gaining skills and experience for their future careers as part of the college’s workforce training programs, which have been growing thanks to a big infusion of money.

In December 2021, City College received a $50,000 grant from a partnership between the Lumina Foundation and New America and their Center on Education and Policy. The center’s goals are to help equip future workers with the technological skills and knowledge needed for an ever-changing labor environment by advancing programs that coordinate education and labor policymaking. 

To help meet the goals of the grant, City College partners with local businesses and organizations who can train students.

The original four members as part of this partnership were the City of Sacramento’s Economic and Workforce Development Unit, Sacramento Employment and Training Agency, the Sacramento Public Library and SMUD. Newer members now include organizations such as the Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, the Sacramento Valley Manufacturing Alliance and UC Davis to name a few.

City College was invited to take part in a multiyear career preparation program with five other community colleges throughout the nation. Other colleges in the program are County College of Morris in New Jersey, Des Moines Area Community College in Iowa, Lone Star College in Texas, Mott Community College in Michigan and Tidewater Community College in Virginia.

As part of the grant program, a group of students numbering anywhere from 10 to 30, called a cohort, participate in pre-apprenticeship or training education, which can vary in length from 10 weeks to a full semester. 

“The goal would be that [the students] go together through that process … and when they complete that training, then we would basically do case management with that cohort … to get them into a career that represents the training they received,” explained Rick Hodge, associate vice president of City College. 

A survey conducted with the participating organizations “interestingly show the top category in what [their] needs are is jobs and training. So that made a really nice fit for what we’re trying to do here at the college, which is to offer short-course programs that can get students into some great careers” Hodge said.

Los Rios Community College District was also able to use a portion of the $50,000 grant to hire another director of employer partnerships in addition to the district’s two other existing directors. One of the main roles of these directors is to partner with businesses in various industries in order to assist students in getting direct access to those businesses.

Julie Muir, the newest director, began her employment at City College in mid-January. She lists increasing employer outcomes by boosting internships, both paid and unpaid, as well as new hires to the manufacturing industry as her top priorities in this new role.

“My role is very much employer facing,” Muir says. “I work with employers to identify not only internship opportunities, but also employment opportunities for our students. … Additionally, I invite employers to attend our classes to give presentations on their company as well as arrange tours or job shadowing that students are able to attend.”

The ultimate goal, she says, is for students to gain hands-on learning, which will enhance their career.

Students are encouraged to visit City College’s Internships and Career Services link for more information on both the work experience programs and upcoming events.

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