Career technical education (CTE) programs for Ventura County middle and high school students will continue thanks to a major new grant awarded to the Ventura County Office of Education (VCOE). In a highly competitive process, VCOE received a grant of $4,334,427 from the State of California. The grant is part of the “K12 Strong Workforce Program” administered through the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office – Division of Workforce and Economic Development in partnership with the California Department of Education. VCOE received the largest amount of grant funding in the South Central Coast region.
“We are very gratified that the state has recognized the extensive effort to improve and expand career technical education in Ventura County,” said Stan Mantooth, Ventura County Superintendent of Schools. “This grant will ensure that we’re able to continue the momentum and keep giving students opportunities to prepare for a wide variety of 21st century careers.”
The new funding comes on top of more than $29 million in career education grants that have been awarded to VCOE since 2014. The grants have allowed VCOE to build CTE programs that have become a model for the state, and fostered creation of 273 career pathways in 15 industry sectors from technology to healthcare to hospitality. The VCOE Career Education Center has introduced many innovative courses at its locations in Camarillo and Moorpark and on high school campuses throughout the county. These courses give students the skills and education they need for in-demand fields such as cyber security, drone operation and computer coding.
“Modern career education is just as valuable for students who are heading to college as those who plan to go directly into the workforce,” said Dr. Tiffany Morse, Executive Director of Career Education at VCOE. “We have created almost one hundred career education courses that meet the eligibility requirements for the University of California and California State University. Nearly 4,000 Ventura County high school students were eligible to receive college credit for their CTE coursework this year.”
VCOE encourages students, parents and educators to explore the many career education opportunities that are now available. This summer, the VCOE Career Education Center is offering a variety of free career-related camps, which begin on July 1. Online registration is available here. The Career Education Center has also released its 2019-20 course catalog, which is available here.