(Santa Ana, Calif.) New America has selected Santa Ana College (SAC) as a member of the national Community College Workforce Transformation & Implementation Cohort. Out of the 15 community colleges selected nationwide, SAC is the only California community college, and also one of four Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI) to participate. As a cohort member, SAC will focus on implementing leading-edge, data-driven approaches to meet local economic demands and skilled workforce needs equitably. This opportunity will strengthen SAC's Career Education (CE) programs and workforce development strategies, including expansion of apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeship opportunities in high-demand industry sectors.
Santa Ana College offers programs to prepare students for a career in high priority sectors such as Digital Media and Healthcare.
“SAC is proud to join this national cohort of community colleges to improve our Career Education programs and increase middle-skill work opportunities for our communities, particularly with a focus on expanding the apprenticeship training model," said Dr. Annebelle Nery, SAC president. “Apprenticeships are important in increasing access for individuals to acquire new skills and earn an income, while protecting their livelihoods. They are a viable option for students to gain valuable work experience without accruing high levels of student debt. With our diverse student population and relevant programs, we are helping to diversify our workforce and promote equity in education, jobs and income."
SAC and the national cohort will scale their innovative, high-quality occupational programs as today's workforce conditions evolve, Nery said. With technological advancements in artificial intelligence and a slowing American labor market, along with inflation and rising interest rates, New America is targeting college workforce programs to build a system that retrains people for future jobs and implements policy innovations informed by research. Colleges in the cohort will develop financing strategies to sustain and operate their workforce programs and produce employment opportunities in their communities.
SAC plans to modernize data collection and data infrastructure for its CE programs to help evaluate and launch new community college workforce programs.
“It is our priority to advance SAC's growing data infrastructure to inform how we fulfill local workforce gaps equitably," Nery shared. “Disaggregated student data, employer needs, alumni job placements and salaries are valuable pieces of information necessary to inform our growing Career Education programs and resources."
SAC's implementation team will be led by Dr. Jeffrey Lamb, vice president of Academic Affairs, and will include Dr. Sara Butler, dean of Academic Affairs; Dr. Larisa Sergeyeva, dean of Human Services & Technology; and Matthew Valerius, associate dean of Career Education and Dual Enrollment. To determine regional workforce development goals, SAC will rely on regional labor market studies published by the Orange County Centers of Excellence for Labor Market Research and the 2021-2024 Orange County Strong Workforce Program (SWP) Plan. SAC is also a member of the Orange County Regional Consortium, which has identified Orange County's high priority sectors for skilled workforce development as: Advanced Manufacturing; Advanced Transportation & Logistics; Business & Entrepreneurship; Energy, Construction & Utilities; Healthcare; Information & Communication Technologies (ICT)/Digital Media; Life Sciences/Biotech; and Retail, Hospitality & Tourism.
According to the Analysis of the Economic Income and Return on Investment of Education Study in July 2018, the accumulated impact of SAC alumni employed in the Orange County workforce amounted to $909.6 million in added income to the Orange County economy, which is equivalent to supporting 11,117 jobs. By participating in the Community College Workforce Transformation and Implementation Cohort, SAC will continue empowering the local workforce with new skills to boost economic development. SAC's Office of Career Education and Workforce Development will lead this effort in conjunction with the Human Services and Technology Division, and are committed to improving the lives of its students and community members through increasing opportunities for equitable income and employment.
To learn more about New America's Community College Workforce Transformation and Implementation Cohort, visit https://bit.ly/SAC-NewAmerica. To learn more about Santa Ana College, please visit sac.edu. Questions about this release can be directed to Dalilah Davaloz at Davaloz_Dalilah@sac.edu.
About Santa Ana College:
Santa Ana College (SAC), which turned 100 years old in 2015, serves about 54,696 students yearly. At SAC, students can work toward completing an associate degree, university transfer, career/workforce training or a bachelor's degree in occupational studies. As part of Santa Ana College, the School of Continuing Education located at Centennial Education Center offers FREE classes throughout the community for adults of all ages and academic backgrounds. Santa Ana College is an award-winning college and was recently ranked as one of the nation's top two-year colleges awarding associate degrees to Latino and Asian students and named one of the best community colleges in California by Intelligent.com. The college is also recognized throughout the state for its comprehensive workforce training programs for nurses, firefighters, law enforcement and medical personnel. Santa Ana College is one of two comprehensive colleges under the auspices of the Rancho Santiago Community College District.
About New America:
New America is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank that brings promising new voices to public discourse. Our experts provide insights and analysis on some of today's most urgent policy conversations.