California's Strong Workforce Program
In 2016 California decided to take a step forward in decreasing the state's skills gap and increasing the amount of "middle-skilled" workers helping to get more people into living wage careers.
With the recommendation of California's Community College Board of Governors, the Governor and Legislature approved the Strong Workforce Program. Creating a new annual investment of $248 million for community colleges and $164 million for K-12 into career and technical education (CTE) with a "more and better" focus. More will be an increase in the number of students enrolled in CTE programs and better being an improvement in program quality. Better can be evidenced by an increase in students graduating into high-demand and, high-wage jobs or by increasing their earnings if they are completing a higher level of certification.
The Strong Workforce Program focuses on innovation and data-driven results instead of activities. A part of the program called CTE Data Unlocked allows colleges to leverage CTE data to be more responsive to the local labor market through program review and integrated planning.