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Career technical education   

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The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(a) A healthy state economy is dependent on an educated and well-prepared workforce. Career technical education plays a critical role in developing the workforce necessary for the economic viability of the state, keeping pupils engaged in the educational process, and providing meaningful skills that translate to productive careers.

(b) Data and projections from the Employment Development Department reveal that between the years of 2000 and 2006, approximately 711,290 jobs that do not require a college degree will need to be filled.

(c) The United States Department of Labor indicates that only about 20 percent of the jobs in the workforce require a baccalaureate degree.

(d) The State Department of Education reports that over 75 percent of the "industrial technology education," which includes, but is not limited to, automotive, construction, and manufacturing programs in California's schools have closed since the mid-1970s.

(e) The Employment Development Department and other sources reveal that current course offerings and enrollments are insufficient to fill the projected need of the state's future labor market. Existing courses provide only 65 percent of the projected course requirements.

(Added by Stats. 2002, Ch. 988, Sec. 3.)