Green Jobs/Career Technical Education
SB 148 (identical to SB 1x 1), the Clean Technology and Renewable Energy Job Training, Career Technical Education, and Dropout Prevention Program, establishes a dedicated funding stream to invest in career technical education that delivers the skills and knowledge needed for successful employment in clean technology, renewable energy or energy efficiency. A special fund at the California Energy Commission would be tapped for $8 million annually over five years to fund start-up of 90 new academies in the growing job sectors of clean technology and renewable energy.
California suffers from too many high school dropouts, too little meaningful career technical education at the middle and high school levels, and the lack of a skilled workforce to fuel the emerging green economy. California must lead in addressing both the problems of its youth and the opportunities created by the new green economy. SB 148 (SB 1x 1) offers solutions at the intersection of these two state priorities. Investment in these emerging careers and industries will drive the next phase of California's economic growth in a way that helps us meet the challenge of climate change. This investment in reducing the dropout rate, expanding workforce opportunities, and targeting climate change will create economic stimulus for clean energy and technology jobs in California.
SB 148 (SB 1x 1) directs the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission to dedicate $8 million annually from its Energy Resources Program Account to fund an estimated 90 new California Partnership Academies. Studies show that these high-school level academies offer rigorous career preparation programs that keep students on track to graduation and prepare them for further education and the workforce.
To qualify for competitive grants, schools must partner with regional business or industry in the clean technology or renewable energy sectors. Schools and their business partners must each put up a dollar amount equal to the grant. Grants are reviewed and awarded by the California Department of Education in consultation with the Energy Commission, to ensure that programs are consistent with California energy policy and priorities. Academies target at-risk students by ensuring that at least half of each academy's incoming class meets three of four criteria: having disadvantaged economic status, a history of irregular attendance, low motivation, or low achievement levels.