VC Innovates is a part of the rich history of Career Education in Ventura County. The California Career Pathways Trust grant was established in 2013 by the state legislature to provide a competitive grant to K-12 schools and community colleges to better prepare students for the 21st Century workplace. Over five years from 2014-2019, Ventura County schools received state funding in the form of a $23.4 million multi-year grant. It provided for a collaborative endeavor bringing together educators, businesses and community partners to apply innovative approaches to the career education experience to seamlessly prepare future workers and leaders for the workforce.
Middle schools around Ventura County developed elective programs in several career areas, vertically aligning with feeder high schools. High schools, similarly, developed standards-based career pathways and collaborated with community colleges. Under our most recent grant funding, Strong Workforce Program, we continue to develop and refine county career programs as well as provide seamless transitions for students from middle school to high school, and high school to community college.
VC Innovates, a consortium of county school districts, operated under the leadership of former Executive Director Dr. Tiffany Morse, former Associate Superintendent Dr. Roger Rice, and current County Superintendent Stanley Mantooth as a program of the Ventura County Office of Education's Student Services Department.
Former Ventura County Superintendent of Schools James Cowan, who served from 1969-1993, is credited with the origins of VCOE's Career Education Center. He established one of the first Regional Occupational Programs (ROP) in the state and secured 20 acres of surplus property at the former Oxnard Air Force Base for what is now the Career Education Center. In addition, multiple local schools serve students referred by county districts with programs designed for expelled and truant students as well as those with special needs.
Regional Occupation Centers and Programs (ROCP) originated in 1967 with 74 programs currently operating in California. ROCP's are designed to serve the state's interests in providing quality career education preparation and technical education. The program evolved from ROP to CEC when funding for California schools shifted to the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) in the 2013-2014 school year, ending a forty year model of funding of statewide K-12 public education.
The Career Education Center at the Camarillo Airport currently houses facilities designed for programs in automotive, mechatronics, welding, manufacturing, aviation, video production, and veterinary technician training programs.