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SACRAMENTO – California Community Colleges Chancellor Brice W. Harris today welcomed President Obama to Los Angeles Trade-Technical College, in a visit that highlighted the critical role that community colleges play in developing the nation’s workforce.
“We are delighted to welcome President Obama to the California Community Colleges and to Los Angeles Trade-Technical College,” Harris said. “The president has the opportunity to see a great institution of higher- learning in the state and one that is on the forefront of efforts to improve the competitiveness and skills of our workforce.”
The president spoke on the importance of job-driven skills training while visiting the college. Los Angeles Trade-Technical College is the oldest of the nine, public two-year colleges in the Los Angeles Community College District, and is unique in that approximately two-thirds of its instructional facilities are devoted to career education.
The visit comes two days after the president signed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)
WIOA is federal legislation which seeks to improve the nation’s workforce development system and job training programs. It streamlines the existing workforce development system by applying a single set of outcome metrics to every federal workforce program; creating smaller, nimbler, and more strategic state and local workforce development boards; and allowing local boards to cater their job training services to the local economic needs of a region.
The California Community Colleges supports workforce development efforts in many ways. Local community colleges throughout the state train thousands of students to enter the workforce every year and have numerous training programs that can quickly adapt to local economic needs. One of the major goals of WIOA is giving job-training centers the ability to train workers with skills that are actually in demand by employers.
In addition, the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office Workforce and Economic Development (WED) Division helps students, incumbent workers, business partners, and industries develop skilled competencies in critical industry sectors.
As a source for developing and implementing workforce training, WED is instrumental in helping the community colleges respond quickly to labor market needs. WED programs also grow local jobs by improving regional business competitiveness and training workers with the skills they need to keep their job or to move to a higher paying position.
Also, WED, through its Doing What Matters for Jobs and the Economy framework, has targeted 10 economic sectors – ranging from advanced manufacturing to health and global trade – in various regions of the state in which it focuses its attention and resources in order to help foster job growth within that sector.
These efforts have helped students receive training at community colleges and matched them with employers seeking their specific job skills. WED has brought together members of the business community and academia to improve collaboration between these two groups. For more information on the California Community Colleges’ effort to improve the skills and competitiveness of California’s workforce, go to:
The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation composed of 72 districts and 112 colleges serving 2.1 million students per year. Community colleges supply workforce training, basic skills education and prepare students for transfer to four-year institutions. The Chancellor’s Office provides leadership, advocacy and support under the direction of the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges. For more information about the community colleges, please visit http://californiacommunitycolleges.cccco.edu/.