$10.2 Million Grant to Enhance Career Education in Ventura County

  • 5/27/2015 7:12:00 AM

The Ventura County Office of Education (VCOE) has received a $10.2 million grant from the California Department of Education’s Career Pathways Trust program that will fund an unprecedented effort to provide career and technical education to local students. VCOE is one of only ten education agencies in the state to be awarded grants at this level in a highly competitive application process. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced the winning applicants today in San Jose.

The grant will allow VCOE, the Ventura County Community College District and K-12 districts in Ventura County to build on work that’s already underway, thanks to a $13.2 million Career Pathways Trust grant that was awarded last year. The combined $23.4 million will fund VC Innovates, a collaborative endeavor bringing together educators, businesses and community partners to apply innovative approaches to the education experience, and seamlessly prepare future workers and leaders for the workforce.

“We are very grateful to have the California Department of Education recognize the great work that’s already gone into making Ventura County a model for career and technical education,” said Ventura County Superintendent of Schools Stan Mantooth.

Currently, VC Innovates provides programs at the college and high school levels. The new funding will allow the creation of courses geared toward middle school students as well. “This is an amazing opportunity to expand access to first-rate career and technical education to an even larger group of students, even earlier in their school careers,” said Dr. Tiffany Morse, Director of VCOE’s Career Education Center.

VC Innovates focuses on preparing students for high-demand local positions in sectors recognized as the economic drivers of our region. The program creates pathways from education to employment in sectors that include information technology, health science, agriculture and energy. Courses will be offered at local middle and high schools, adult schools, community colleges and at the VCOE Career Education Center. For additional information about VC Innovates, please visit www.vcinnovates.org.

Schools in Westlake Village and Camarillo to Benefit from Additional Grant

The California Department of Education also awarded a $590,799 Career Pathways Trust grant to River Oaks Academy, a Westlake Village charter school authorized by the Ventura County Office of Education. River Oaks will use the funding in partnership with ACE Charter High School in Camarillo to provide career education in six sectors, including engineering, software, tourism and law.