TCOE education to career pipeline to receive portion of $18 million

The Tulare County Office of Education is a part of a regional program who was awarded $18 million for education-to-career pipelines in schools

FRESNO, Calif. – Last week, the Central San Joaquin Valley K-16 Partnership was awarded $18 million by Governor Gavin Newsome to equitably strengthen education-to-workforce pathways.

The Tulare-Kings and Fresno-Madera education-to-workforce pathways combined forces to create the Central San Joaquin Valley K-16 Partnership. Gov. Newsom and partnership announced that they were awarded the grant on Thursday, May 26.

“By receiving this grant and being able to partake in this opportunity, we are going to be able to inject some new energy and some new life into the work happening in its working counties,” McKenna Salazar, Tulare County Office of Education (TCOE) college and career engagement specialist said. 

According to the governor’s office, the Central San Joaquin Valley K-16 Partnership was one of six education-to-career pipelines to receive a portion of the $108.6 million first wave funding. 

The Central San Joaquin Valley K-16 Partnership is a collaboration of the Fresno-Madera K-16 Collaborative and the Tulare-Kings College + Career Collaborative (TKCCC). According to a press release from TCOE, the purpose is to ensure that educational, vocational and workforce programs work in partnership to address the income, racial and gender inequalities in education and employment.

Salazar is excited for the opportunity to collaborate with the entire region because they add an additional resource as well as a way to gain ideas allowing for a different impact on all the students. The partnership has come up with a formula to equally divide the $18.13 million between the Fresno-Madera and Tulare-Kings collaboratives. 

Salazar said this funding is helpful because TKCCC is usually strictly funded by competitive grants. This lump sum is in addition to their already existing grant funding and will benefit all areas of the organization. “It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved in the fact that students are the ones who are going to be receiving the most impact from this funding, and we’ll be able to make them marketed like growth and actually measurable growth because of this funding,” Salazar said.

TKCCC will be putting their money to several different entities including counselor training and professional development in career training courses. The different pathways will be focusing on increasing student enrollment. Salazar said some funding will also go to some school districts who want to start a pathway program and get the curriculum started and teachers hired. They do some career exploration with industry partners and a lot of meeting mentorships and apprenticeship opportunities in order to expose students to different fields of work. 

This state program’s goal is to provide funding to “enhance or create collaborative efforts between the University of California system, the California State University system, Community Colleges, K-12 School Districts, and workforce partners,” according to the governor’s office. Any program must commit to create two occupational pathways from either health care, education, business management or engineering/computing. Salazar said the Central San Joaquin Valley K-16 Partnership has implemented all four of those options in their program. Each program must also commit to implement four of the seven recommendations from the Recovery with Equity Report, a Roadmap for Higher Education After the Pandemic. 

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