California Labor Agency and California Community Colleges to Administer $1 Million Drought-related Training Program in the San Joaquin Valley

Dan Education, General

From: California Community Colleges
Employment Training Panel
Labor & Workforce Development Agency

The California Labor and Workforce Development Agency (LWDA), the Employment Training Panel (ETP), and the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office signed an agreement to provide job training to workers and employers in California locales hit hardest by the drought.

LWDA Secretary David Lanier said, “This new partnership reflects

the administration’s continuing commitment to provide additional resources to severely affected communities in vital agricultural areas.”

According to California Community Colleges Chancellor Brice W. Harris, “This agreement will give men and women in the San Joaquin Valley who have been negatively impacted by the drought the chance to pursue training at community colleges in other fields to help them get back on their feet.”

Under an interagency agreement, the Chancellor’s Office will use $1 million to develop and implement this program, which will run from Sept. 15, 2014 through June 30, 2016. The ETP will work closely with the Chancellor’s Office to ensure that the funds are coordinated with other state workforce initiatives as well as the efforts of local service providers. Classes will begin in the fall of 2014. Funding for the program was made available through drought-aid legislation, which was passed with urgency by the State Legislature and signed into law earlier this year by Gov. Jerry Brown.

The Chancellor’s Office and the Yosemite Community College District will coordinate the project, market the new training opportunities, and ensure that these opportunities are well known throughout the region. Outreach will be conducted in both English and Spanish. The District will consult and coordinate efforts with local service providers that have had extensive interaction with farm worker communities.

Participating colleges are in the San Joaquin Valley, the region most severely impacted by the drought, and include:

  • Fresno City College;
  • Reedley College;
  • Modesto Junior College;
  • Merced College;
  • West Hills College; and
  • College of the Sequoias.

The project will provide 12 training programs, each about 250 hours in duration, at no cost to participants, who must be local residents. Students will receive instruction pertaining to the following topics and occupations:

  • Irrigation systems;
  • Evaluations specialists and designers;
  • Logistics technicians;
  • Electrical maintenance technicians;
  • Water treatment operators;
  • Forklift and warehouse technicians;
  • Food safety technicians;
  • Qualified pesticide applicators; and
  • Manufacturing production technologists.

Graduates of these training programs will receive industry-recognized certificates and may be supplemented
with basic skills and English as a Second Language training components.

The State of California Labor & Workforce Development Agency is an executive branch Agency, and the Secretary is a member of the Governor’s Cabinet. The Secretary oversees seven major departments, boards and panels that serve California businesses and workers.

ETP is a performance-based state agency supported by business and labor that assists employers with training funds. For more information about the program, please visit, or call 916-327-5368.

The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation composed of 72 districts and 112 colleges serving 2.1 million students per year. Community colleges supply workforce training, basic skills education and prepare students for transfer to four-year institutions. The Chancellor’s Office provides leadership, advocacy and support under the direction of the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges. For more information about the community colleges, please visit