chaffeycollegeVice President Joe Biden announced this week that Chaffey College and a consortium of Southern California colleges won $14.9 million to partner with employers in the region to expand and improve education and career training programs to help job seekers obtain skills they need for in-demand jobs.

“I congratulate these colleges for winning this multi-million dollar grant that will improve the job prospects of Inland Empire residents,” said California Community Colleges Chancellor Brice W. Harris.  “Colleges and universities are engines for economic growth and are well-suited to train and connect students with employers who have job openings but few qualified candidates to apply for them.  Thanks to these funds, college administrators will work together to tailor a job-training program that will give students the skills they need to obtain good jobs in fields with many openings.”

The funding is part of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training competitive grant program, which is co-administered by the U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. Department of Education.  Approximately 270 community colleges across the country won a total of $450 million under this job-driven grant program.

The winning colleges are required to establish partnerships with employers to develop career training programs for in-demand jobs in industries like information technology, health care, energy, and advanced manufacturing.

Chaffey College will distribute much of its grant money to the Inland Empire Regional Training Consortium (IERTC), which will use the funds to create the STEM Education Business Incubator Center at facilities provided by California Steel Industries in Fontana, Calif.  The Center will develop a curriculum and award certificates in the field of advanced manufacturing applications.

“The California Community Colleges will stretch every dollar it is given for maximum use to build world-class academic programs that provide high quality training for our students,” Harris added.  “We are fortunate to have so many partners in this endeavor, including UC, CSU, and local employers to help us design this job-training program.”

The consortium is composed of Chaffey and the following colleges: Norco College; Barstow Community College; College of the Desert; Mt. San Jacinto College; Victor Valley College; San Bernardino Valley College; Crafton Hills College; Riverside City College; MiraCosta College; California State University, San Bernardino; and University of California, Riverside.

The consortium has partnered with the Inland Empire Manufacturers’ Council, which has a membership of over 50 manufacturers, including local employers such as California Steel Industries; Brithinee Electric; Cott Beverages; Steelscape; Ashley Furniture; California Quality Plastics; Nestle Waters, North America; and Southern California Edison to develop this program.

For more information on what the California Community Colleges is doing to improve the state’s economic growth and global workforce competitiveness, click here: