(Santa Ana, Calif.) – Santa Ana College (SAC) recently announced that its Workforce Development Pathways Targeting Dislocated and At-Risk Populations project received $2 million in federal funding secured by Rep. Lou Correa (CA-46). The funds will help SAC develop career education pathways for disadvantaged and at-risk adult learners.
To offset lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the high cost of living in Orange County, the federal funding enables SAC to create pathways for in-demand occupations and careers in the region. New training programs at SAC will help ensure dislocated workers, un- and under-employed, and working poor can enter high-wage occupations that earn family-sustaining wages.
“Thanks to Rep. Lou Correa's dedication to advocating for the urgent needs of the community at the federal level, we are proud to be able to create more equitable opportunities for our students to pursue their educational and professional goals," said Dr. Annebelle Nery, president of SAC. “This funding enables SAC to move toward equitable pandemic recovery, to diversify the workforce, and to broaden engagement and access by marginalized populations. Increasing employment for disadvantaged populations in high-wage occupations is critical for equity and economic development."
The project will develop complete career technical education (CTE) pathways for disadvantaged, dislocated or at-risk adult learners that start in noncredit courses (e.g., CTE skill development, basic skills and English) and transition to credit certificate and degree programs.
Some of the pathways include:
SAC submitted the project to Rep. Correa's office for consideration at the $2 million level, Nery said. It was subsequently selected as one of his 15 Community Project Funding requests. The project was approved by the United States House and Senate and signed into law by President Biden in December 2022, which will impact Fiscal Year 2023.
“I'm so honored to have been able to secure this $2 million in federal funding headed to Santa Ana College's Workforce Development Pathways Targeting Dislocated and At-Risk Populations project," said Rep. Correa. “With this much-needed funding, SAC will be able to offset the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the high cost of living in Orange County, all while creating pathways for in-demand jobs and careers across Orange County. This project will uplift thousands of hard-working families in Santa Ana and beyond, and is proof that with federal support, we can do so much good for our local workforce and economy."
This $2 million federal funding comes on the heels of $2 million in funding Rep. Correa also secured in March 2022 for the Rancho Santiago Community College District's (RSCCD) Digital Divide Project. SAC is one of the two comprehensive colleges under RSCCD. The Digital Divide Project expands access to computers, internet services, digital literacy training and individualized skill-development tools. The 2022 funding provides students hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic with support in regaining access to technology and education.
About Santa Ana College
Santa Ana College (SAC), which turned 100 years old in 2015, serves about 20,000 students each semester. The college prepares students for transfer to four-year institutions and provides workforce training for business and industry. In addition, another 11,000 students are served through the college's School of Continuing Education located at Centennial Education Center. Ranked as one of the nation's top, two-year colleges awarding associate degrees to Latino and Asian students, the college is also recognized throughout the state for its comprehensive workforce training programs for nurses, firefighters, law enforcement and medical personnel. SAC is one of two comprehensive colleges under the auspices of the
Rancho Santiago Community College District.