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Peralta receives $5.4 million grant

Funds will help Oakland get citizens back to work

By Jon Leckie
On October 11, 2012


U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis announced Sept. 19 that the Peralta Community College District is part of a consortium of East Bay colleges that will receive a $14.9 million grant as part of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training initiative.

The grant is intended to help American businesses by supporting education and strengthening ties between employers and colleges.

Peralta will receive $5.4 million of the $14.9 million grant to split among its campuses. Laney College and College of Alameda are each set to receive $1.8 million over three years, while Merritt College and Berkeley City College will get $900,000 over the same period.

The consortium, which includes Contra Costa College, Diablo Valley College, Los Medanos College, Ohlone College, Chabot College, Solano College, Cal State East Bay, and the University of California, Berkeley, is part of 27 other college and university consortia. A total of 54 institutions nationwide will receive nearly $500 million in grants from the Department of Labor initiative.

"These federal grants are part of the Obama Administration's ongoing commitment to strengthening American businesses by strengthening the American workforce," Solis said in a press release.

"This strategic investment will enhance ties among community colleges, universities, employers, and other local partners while ensuring that students have access to the skills and resources they need to compete for high-wage, high-skill careers."

Grants from the initiative aim to promote skills development and employment opportunities in advanced manufacturing, transportation, health care, science, technology, engineering, and math.

Through partnerships between training providers and local employers, the initiative creates "affordable training programs that meet industry needs, invest in staff and educational resources, and provide access to free, digital training materials," Solis said.

At Peralta, the funds will create a "regional workforce system" which will include an educational plan that will link the 10 community colleges with certificates that transfer across the colleges, as well as training referrals and placement assistance.

The initiative will also create "career transfer pathways" that aid in student transfers from the community colleges to the California State University and University of California systems.

"I am very pleased that the Department of Labor has recognized the unique role that community colleges play in workforce development and job training," Peralta Community College District chancellor Dr. Jose Ortiz said.

"These awards to the Peralta Colleges pay tribute to the hard work our faculty and staff put into our award-winning programs, programs that create exciting employer partnerships and provide some of the best training that students anywhere can receive."

This round of grants is the second installment in a four-year, $2 billion initiative. The program was created in 2009 under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and funded within the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.

To learn more about the grant program, including a list of grantees by state and project descriptions, visit

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