SACRAMENTO, Calif.—July 20, 2015—Work experience remains one of the most reliable paths to in-demand careers for young people seeking jobs, but few students have access to such experiences early in their educational career. To strengthen the workforce and close the skills gap, the California Workforce Investment Board (CWIB) has awarded $100,000 to the Foundation for California Community Colleges and the Linked Learning Alliance to help expand internship opportunities for students.
LaunchPath is an online tool developed as part of a statewide initiative to improve students’ preparation for college and career. The Foundation for California Community Colleges and the Linked Learning Alliance developed LaunchPath to match prepared high school and community college students with employers willing to host internships.
“This grant will help more students get internships in industry sectors aligned with their Linked Learning pathways,” said Linked Learning Alliance President Christopher Cabaldon.
Funding will be used to increase the number of employer engagement events in several regions of the state, test new employer engagement techniques, and provide ongoing support to a network of employers that are currently using LaunchPath to extend internship opportunities to students.
“Using LaunchPath streamlined the process to find the right intern from an engineering pathway program,” said Sara Minnehan, community engagement manager at Aerojet Rocketdyne. “Aerojet Rocketdyne is committed to helping to develop a pipeline of talent for our region’s future and working with the Foundation for California Community Colleges made it possible for our company to hire a high school intern who was under 18 years of age.”
LaunchPath will partner with the East County Business Education Alliance, the Antioch Chamber of Commerce, and the Ventura County Civic Alliance to increase the number of work-based learning opportunities available for youth.
“We are pleased LaunchPath has been selected for a second year of funding from the California Workforce Investment Board to meet workforce gaps,” said Keetha Mills, president and chief executive officer of the Foundation for California Community Colleges. “We look forward to deepening regional partnerships with high schools, community colleges, workforce development boards, and industry to provide opportunities for students.”
This is the second year CWIB will support projects and partnerships aimed at bridging education and workforce gaps for at-risk youth and other underserved populations through the Workforce Accelerator Fund. The goal of the program is to support and expand promising models and practices in workforce development, skill attainment, and development of career pathways.
LaunchPath is an online tool designed to connect employers, educators, and students to strengthen our workforce and close the skills gap in California. Through internships and work-based learning experiences, prepared high school and community college students have the opportunity to make substantive contributions and gain valuable experience. LaunchPath saves time, reduces risk, simplifies partnerships, and accelerates talent acquisition. LaunchPath is a joint project of the Foundation for California Community Colleges and the Linked Learning Alliance, made possible through seed funding by JPMorgan Chase Global Philanthropy and sustained through a combination of public and private support. | www.launchpath.com
The Foundation for California Community Colleges is the official nonprofit foundation to the California Community Colleges Board of Governors and Chancellor's Office. The Foundation's mission is to benefit, support, and enhance the missions of the California Community Colleges system, the largest higher education system in the nation. Incorporated in 1998, the Foundation works with community colleges and partner organizations to manage donations, grants, programs, and services that drive excellence in education. Since inception, the Foundation has provided over $250 million in direct grants, support, and cost savings to California Community Colleges. The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit corporation and receives no direct state or public support. | www.foundationccc.org
The Linked Learning Alliance is a nonprofit statewide coalition of education, industry, and community organizations dedicated to improving California's high schools and preparing students for success in college, career, and life. | www.linkedlearning.org