Twelve schools to get funds to develop vocational programs

Taft College is part of a 12-school group of Central Valley community colleges that is receiving a $20 million grant from the federal government.
The grant, from the United States Department of Labor, was announced on Monday and will be used for vocational training for both individual and industry partners.
“Obviously for Taft College being part of this grant allows us to offer vocational training and education to prepare individuals for employment in order meet the industry needs of our community,” said Sam Aunai, TC's vocational education coordinator. “We are excited about this opportunity to enhance our vocational programs and to support industry and community needs.”
More information about the specifics of TC's involvement and the programs will be released later.
Through these grants,  the Department of Labor said in a news release, schools will be able to expand their capacity to put more people into high-quality jobs and start new careers in fields ranging from advanced manufacturing and transportation to health care and STEM – science, technology, engineering and math –areas.
The grant will be paid over three years, Aunai said.
The initial two years of the grant project will allow each college within the consortium to design and implement high quality training programs for individuals and industry partners in their area. The third year of the project will expand capacity and sustainability by duplicating these model programs within the consortium to other colleges that possess a pool of potential trainees and industries that could utilize the model curriculum and training provided by a host college, according to a news release from the Department of Labor.
West Hills College-Lemoore was the lead school in the grant, which will actually toal $19,993,050.
Other members of the Central California Community College Consortium include Fresno City, Madera Center, Porterville, Bakersfield, Reedley, Merced, Cerra Coso, San Joaquin Delta, College of the Sequoias and West Hills College-Coalinga.