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State to award grants for schools providing career pathways

Colleges and UniversitiesDarrell SteinbergTom Torlakson

SACRAMENTO -- California schools, starting Tuesday, may apply for grants from the state’s new $250-million Career Pathways Trust aimed at preparing high school and community college students for well-paying jobs.

“This kind of career pathways education works,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. “It's truly an investment in the students and the state’s economic development.”

Applicants competing for grants of up to $15 million each will propose programs designed to provide a clear path from school to specific kinds of jobs in demand in high growth industries, tailoring instruction to the skills needed for those positions.

“This model of learning helps bring curriculum to life, by making education more relevant to college and careers,” said Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento). “Where this career pathways approach has been applied, we’ve seen reduced dropout rates and avenues to good-paying jobs."

Steinberg said he was concerned to learn during a visit to the Southern California Assn. of Governments that more than 40% of the people in the eligible workforce have only a high school diploma or less.

He said the program will hopefully provide higher education, allowing students to fill a need for engineers and scientists among other positions in demand.

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patrick.mcgreevy@latimes.com

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