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Strong Workforce Program   

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(a) This section applies to the Community College component only, and applies commencing with the 2017-18 fiscal year.

(b) To promote the success of community college students and the career technical education programs that serve them, up to 5 percent of the funds appropriated for the Community College component may be allocated by the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges to a community college district for statewide activities to improve and administer the program, including the facilitation of system, program, and data alignment at the state and regional levels and the implementation of the 25 recommendations presented to the board of governors on January 19 and 20, 2016, by the Strong Workforce Task Force. The chancellor's office shall consult with the California Workforce Development Board and other appropriate state agencies on the development of all statewide activities that would be implemented by the selected district to facilitate broader workforce and education system alignment. Statewide coordination activities funded out of this allocation may include, but are not limited to, the following activities:

(1) State-level coordination for the development of labor market analyses pertaining to economic and industry trends and jobs projections for the purpose of supporting common regional planning efforts and the alignment of career technical education program offerings with regional labor market dynamics.

(2) Research, evaluation, and technical assistance on the use of effective local and regional policies, best practices, and model partnerships.

(3) Development and prototyping of innovative policies, practices, and coordinated services with local workforce and education partners.

(4) Participation of community college districts in existing regional coalitions and planning efforts.

(5) Cross-training local program staff.

(6) Development and maintenance of a state-level cross-system data reporting mechanism with partners formed pursuant to the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (Public Law 113-128) for the purpose of monitoring workforce program outcomes and performance accountability.

(7) Leveraging allocated funds with state and local partners through interagency agreements, memorandums of understanding, or other appropriate mechanisms.

(c) (1) Forty percent of the funds apportioned for the Community College component of the program shall be apportioned directly to the fiscal agent of the consortium for the purpose of funding regionally prioritized projects and programs that meet the needs of local and regional economies, as identified in regional plans and Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (Public Law 113-128) regional plans.

(2) Sixty percent of the funds apportioned for the Community College component of the program shall be apportioned directly to community college districts in the consortium. Funds apportioned directly to a community college district shall be expended for the purpose of funding regionally prioritized projects and programs within the community college district that meet the needs of local and regional economies, as identified in regional plans and Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (Public Law 113-128) regional plans. As a condition of receiving direct funding, each community college district shall actively participate in its consortium.

(d) The allocation of funds to a consortium shall be based on a schedule determined by the chancellor's office and is effective for the four years of each plan cycle. Within the four-year plan cycle, this schedule may be altered to reflect changes in the statewide allocation for the program as appropriated in the annual Budget Act.

(e) The chancellor's office shall provide to the Department of Finance and the Legislative Analyst's Office its recommendations for the allocation of funds available for each consortium no later than August 30 of each year. The department shall approve the allocation plan before the release of funding.

(f) (1) For each four-year plan cycle, the chancellor's office shall determine the amount of funds to be allocated to each consortium based on the following weighted factors in each region:

(A) The unemployment rate. This factor shall comprise 33 percent of the allocation formula.

(B) The proportion of career technical education full-time equivalent students. This factor shall comprise 33 percent of the allocation formula.

(C) The proportion of projected job openings. This factor shall comprise 17 percent of the allocation formula.

(D) The proportion of successful workforce outcomes as evidenced by the performance accountability measures of the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (Public Law 113-128). This factor shall comprise 17 percent of the allocation formula.

(2) For each four-year plan cycle, the chancellor's office shall determine the amount of funds to be allocated directly to each community college district within a consortium based on the weighted factors, specified in subparagraphs (A) to (D), inclusive, of paragraph (1), in each district within the region.

(g) A consortium shall allocate funds in accordance with its plan and only to community college districts. Decisions governing, or relating to, the distribution of the consortium's fiscal resources shall be determined exclusively by the community college districts participating in the consortium.

(h) As a condition of receipt of funds under this section, a participating community college district shall comply with all of the following:

(1) Be a member of a consortium.

(2) Participate in regional planning efforts formed pursuant to the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (Public Law 113-128) and other efforts that align workforce, employment, and education services.

(3) Work with other consortium members to create and submit a plan to the chancellor's office by January 31 of every fourth year of a four-year plan cycle.

(4) Provide accessible performance and labor market data that can be used by community college districts and their regional partners to support the implementation of the program and any related efforts to align regional workforce and education programming with regional labor market needs, including, but not limited to, regional planning efforts established pursuant to the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (Public Law 113-128).

(5) Include interested public universities and local educational agencies in regional planning.

(6) Certify that the use of funds will meet the intent of the program to accomplish all of the following:

(A) Increase the number of students in quality career technical education courses, programs, and pathways that will achieve successful workforce outcomes.

(B) Increase the number of quality career technical education courses, programs, and pathways that lead to successful workforce outcomes, or invest in new or emerging career technical education courses, programs, and pathways that may become operative in subsequent years and are likely to lead to successful workforce outcomes.

(C) Address recommendations from the Strong Workforce Task Force, including the recommended provision of student services related to career exploration, job readiness and job placement, and work-based learning.

(i) Funds appropriated to community college districts for the program shall supplement, not supplant, existing funding of community college career technical education programs. This subdivision shall not be interpreted to mean that a participating community college district is prohibited from eliminating or altering existing programs, but the percentage of that community college district's total full-time equivalent students enrolled in career technical education courses relative to the total full-time equivalent students enrolled in the district shall not be reduced from the percentage computed for the 2015-16 fiscal year.

(j) Programs, courses, or instructional materials developed using funding from the program may be made available to all community college districts, as appropriate, through the online clearinghouse of information created as part of the Institutional Effectiveness Partnership Initiative.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 32, Sec. 112.)