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The Honorable Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher Chair,
Assembly Appropriations Committee California State Capitol, Room 2114
Sacramento, CA 95814
Dear Chairwoman Gonzalez Fletcher:
The California Manufacturers & Technology Association and the organizations listed below strongly SUPPORT AB 445 (Cunningham, O’Donnell) to provide longer term funding for high-quality K-12 career technical education (CTE) programs. As amended on March 29, AB 445 extends the sunset date on the CTE Incentive Grant (CTEIG) for three additional years at $300 million annually, thereby continuing support for school districts to maintain and expand their technical training programs.
High-quality CTE programs, informed by labor market data and aligned to industry needs, provide all students with the skills necessary to compete for high-skilled jobs available today and in the future. These programs teach critical thinking, collaboration and teamwork, creative problem solving and work readiness tools – all of which are highly desirable skill sets in an innovation economy.
Governor Brown established the CTEIG as part of the 2015-16 Budget to offer school districts additional support for training programs during their early transition into LCFF with the belief that districts would ultimately fund these programs in the out years. However, the historical decline of CTE programs when not supported by targeted funding emphasizes the need for continued dedicated support to maintain these programs.
The demand for middle skills jobs is further driving the need for trained workers in all California industries. Middle skills jobs are those that require more than a high school diploma but less than a four-year degree and often require a higher level of technical skills training. These jobs can be found in all industries, including culinary arts, allied health, information technology, advanced manufacturing, construction, agriculture and administrative and professional services. According to a National Skills Coalition, middle skills jobs account for 50 percent of California jobs and will continue to make up a majority of the state’s labor market demand in the future. However, only 39 percent of workers are trained to the skill level required to compete for these positions.
In order to compete for these livable wage jobs, students need access and exposure to high-quality training that is aligned to in-demand employment opportunities early in their educational career. AB 445 not only continues funding to ensure CTE courses and programs are offered in a consistent and robust manner, it also promotes high value programs by maintaining the quality indicators and accountability system contained in the original CTEIG proposal that the Legislature overwhelmingly supported. Continued investment in the CTEIG also builds on past financial workforce investments to ensure that the facilities, machinery, teachers and know-how are not lost.
We must continue to make workforce development a priority in California and make significant investments in training programs that will prepare many more California residents for better more plentiful middle skilled jobs and careers.
For these reasons, we SUPPORT AB 445 and request your “aye” vote when the bill comes before you for consideration.
California Manufacturers & Technology Association
African American Farmers of California
Agricultural Council of California
Associated Builders and Contractors-San Diego Chapter
Associated General Contractors
Auto Care Association
California Association of Nurseries and Garden Centers
California Association of Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors California Automotive Wholesalers Association
California Business Properties Association
California Chamber of Commerce
California Construction and Industrial Materials Association California Correctional Peace Officers Association
California Cotton Ginner and Growers Association, Inc.
Chemical Industry Council of California
California League of Food Processors
Computing Technology Industry Association
Council of Industries of West Contra Costa County
Family Business Association of California
Far West Equipment Dealers Association
Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce
Hesperia Chamber of Commerce
Inland Empire Economic Partnership
National Federation of Independent Business
Nisei Farmers League
North Orange County Chamber of Commerce
Northern Rural Training and Employment Consortium
Orange County Business Council
Rancho Cordova Chamber of Commerce
San Fernando Valley Chamber of Commerce
San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership
Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce
Southern California Leadership Council
Southwest California Legislative Council
Torrance Chamber of Commerce
Tulare Chamber of Commerce
Vacaville Chamber of Commerce
Western Agricultural Processors Association
Western Electrical Contractors Association
Western Plant Health Association
Yuba Sutter Chamber of Commerce
The Honorable Jordan Cunningham
The Honorable Patrick O’Donnell
Members, Assembly Appropriations Committee
Jennifer Johnson, Deputy Legislative Secretary, Office of the Governor Daisy Gonzales, Consultant, Assembly Appropriations Committee Jared Yoshiki, Consultant, Assembly Republican Caucus