Article 5.5. Clean Technology and Renewable Energy Job Training, Career Technical Education, and Dropout Prevention Program
(a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) California's international leadership in renewable energy, energy conservation, clean technology, and climate change policies creates significant opportunities to improve workforce development and educational opportunities for high school pupils in the fields of energy conservation, clean technology, and renewable energy.
(2) California has an opportunity to combine the education and training of both its future college-educated workforce and its highly skilled technical workforce with its effort to reduce high school dropout rates. Clean technology jobs and renewable energy jobs (" green collar jobs") can provide underserved communities with a pathway out of poverty, a new and inspiring focus for educational institutions, and significant statewide economic and environmental benefits.
(3) A poll of at-risk California 9th and 10th graders by Peter D. Hart Research Associates found that 6 in 10 pupils were not motivated to succeed in school. Of those pupils, more than 90 percent said they would be more engaged in their education if classes helped them acquire skills and knowledge relevant to future careers. Career technical education programs that create paths to further education, advanced training, or productive jobs in high opportunity careers can keep pupils engaged and on track toward a diploma.
(4) Investments in delivering pupils the skills and knowledge needed for further education and employment in industries that focus on renewable energy, energy conservation, clean technologies, and climate change mitigation will provide multiple benefits to California in all of the following ways:
(A) Helping to achieve the state's climate change goals required by the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (Division 25.5 (commencing with Section 38500) of the Health and Safety Code).
(B) Creating employment opportunities for Californians that would otherwise not be fully realized.
(C) Expanding the state's utilization of renewable energy.
(D) Contributing to the growth of clean technology businesses in California.
(5) Absent action, California will miss an opportunity to curtail high school dropout and joblessness rates among its young people and will perpetuate the lack of an integrated education, workforce development, and business infrastructure that otherwise could take advantage of the projected growth in these industries and the corresponding increase in state and local taxes, other public revenues, and additional economic benefits associated with a likely surge in clean technology and renewable energy jobs.
(6) California must prioritize the reduction of high school dropout and joblessness rates among its young people. It must also ensure that pupils have pathways to careers that will help achieve its greenhouse gas reduction goals and contribute to the development of its renewable energy resources.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature to stimulate the economy of the State of California by creating partnership academies that will lead to the creation of good paying jobs in industries and businesses that are in compliance with the state's environmental protection laws and regulations, providing entrepreneurs and employers the best-trained workforce in the United States, and preparing young people to work in clean, green industries and professions. These jobs would help achieve California's climate change mitigation obligations and conserve our state's vital resources of water, air quality, land, and energy.
(Added by Stats. 2011, 1st Ex. Sess., Ch. 1. Sec. 1)