May 29, 2015

Contact: Paige Marlatt Dorr
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National Skills Coalition awards California as one of four states to engage in the State Workforce and Education Alignment Project

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, in collaboration with other state partners, has been selected to participate in the National Skills Coalition State Workforce and Education Alignment Project, a data sharing and accountability initiative designed to better prepare students for middle- skill jobs.

Partners in the effort include the California Workforce Investment Board, the California Employment Development Department, the California State Board of Education and the Foundation for California Community Colleges.

“California needs to close the gap on 1 million more industry-valued middle-skilled credentials over the next decade. This is where California is growing jobs,” said California Community Colleges Chancellor Brice W. Harris. “The best way to achieve this is for our public institutions and our employers to align around and share in the same goal.”

California’s selection for the project reflects support for Chancellor’s Office efforts such as the Doing What Matters for Jobs and the Economy initiative, which emphasizes regional collaboration in workforce training strategies, and the Board of Governors Task Force on Workforce, Job Creation and a Strong Economy, which is formulating recommendations to improve workforce education and promote job creation.

Our goal is to address the industry skills gap and better prepare students for careers. The State Workforce and Education Alignment Project grant will help align CTE career pathways in high school with other training and education programs,” said Michael Kirst, president of the California State Board of Education. “These resources will support data sharing among agencies so we can assess progress and improve how programs work together to serve students and employers.”

The State Workforce and Education Alignment Project will support California in the collection of information across agencies about workforce education and training programs. As one of four states selected, California
will strategically build upon a solid foundation to drive economic growth statewide for employers and program participants alike.

The State Workforce and Education Alignment Project will help meet this goal. With data tools required to track information across agencies, California partners will receive improved labor market information and be better able to understand how agencies and programs can collaborate together and how individuals can navigate the educational system to earn credentials for higher-paying, in-demand jobs.

“The point is not to collect more data, but to make better use of current data for analyzing outcomes across programs,” said Tim Rainey, executive director of the California Workforce Investment Board. “This is all in service to greater system alignment behind a shared vision and common goals.”

With policies and momentum already in place to create cross-system data tools, California is a natural choice for the initiative. This recognition by the National Skills Coalition validates California’s hard-earned progress and will provide a wealth of additional resources and expertise.

The California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office looks forward to implementation of new data tools and processes to affect positive change in workforce development policy, and to secure economic success for Californian program participants and employers.

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,, or