Brown Applauds Santa Ana Effort on Job Training : Campaign: Candidate for governor says program should be state’s model for public-private partnership.


Gubernatorial candidate Kathleen Brown stopped here Friday to praise the school district’s job training program as a model for the state and promised to help California make a transition to a new economy centered on high technology and global competition.

“The work you are doing here is the absolute linchpin of how we will transition to that new economy,” Brown told panelists and a small audience gathered at the Santa Ana offices of the Central County Regional Occupation Program, which works in partnership with local business and the Santa Ana Unified School District’s job training program.

“It’s just the kind of public-private partnership that should and can and must bring California’s job market into the 21st Century,” she said.


Brown talked to program directors and city business leaders and interviewed students who have graduated from the Business Education Network--a four-year Santa Ana school district program that introduces them to careers and ultimately provides training, mentors, internships and jobs.

Gloria Quintanilla, who just graduated from Century High School, told Brown that Santa Ana students need the program in order to be exposed to the corporate world and the diversity of careers available to them.

“I got a summer internship with FHP and I learned a lot,” Quintanilla said. “A lot of our parents, they don’t have a college education. We’re not around that many people in the corporate world.”

The visit came as part of a swing through Southern California to highlight Gov. Pete Wilson’s “broken promises,” according to the Brown campaign. She made a morning stop in front of the U.S. Courthouse in San Diego to speak about Wilson’s immigration record.

Despite the anti-Wilson billing of the event, Brown did not mention her opponent’s name as she asked Santa Ana officials, high school teachers, school administrators and others for input on how the state can help implement “job-ready” programs in every high school and encourage partnerships between schools, local government and private industry.

“I want to learn from you,” she said. “I want you to share with me what role you think state government can play in this transition to a new economy.”


In comments to the media after the panel discussion, however, Brown settled into her “broken promise” theme.

“Pete Wilson promised longer graduation lines and shorter unemployment lines. He accomplished just the opposite,” she said.

Earlier, Brown toured two classes offered by the Regional Occupation Program, which works with school districts in Santa Ana, Orange and Garden Grove as well as with other career-preparation programs to offer hands-on training by industry experts in everything from automotive work to medical assistantships.

She stopped to chat with Jose Torres, 20, of Santa Ana, who told her he was taking the center’s computer applications class to better himself.

“This is real life here,” Torres told Brown, praising the program.

After Brown wished him luck, he heartily wished her the same, with a twist. “What are you running for again?” he asked.

During Brown’s panel discussion, three Orange County prosecutors sat in the back row awaiting their chance to blast her record on crime and public safety, but they had to leave before the panel concluded, and a Wilson campaign volunteer was unable to grab the media’s attention.


“All the bus tours of the world aren’t going to fool the voters of California or the voters of Orange County,” Wilson spokesman Dan Schnur said later in a telephone interview.

Her speaking tours are “not going to change the fact that she’s against the death penalty, she’s against a one-strike initiative for violent sex offenders, and that she has no credible record on issues of crime and public safety,” he said.

Schnur also challenged Brown’s criticisms of Wilson’s education record:

“Kathleen Brown only tells you part of the story,” he said. “What she doesn’t tell you is that after criticizing Pete Wilson for three years for not investing in education, when Kathleen finally came out with her alternative budget last month, it did not allocate a single dollar more to K through 12 education than Pete Wilson’s did.”