College of the Canyons has been selected to receive a grant of $75 thousand over three years as part of a major project designed to develop innovative approaches to education and workforce development that go beyond traditional strategies of training workers for current jobs. College of the Canyons is one of a number of organizations that will be working with the California Space Authority on a project that is intended to stimulate the creation and sustainability of high-skill, high-wage opportunities for American workers within their regional economies.
College of the Canyons has been specifically tasked to "establish an advisory group to develop guidelines for pre-engineering certification/university transfer program for California community colleges." "I am extremely excited that we are a part of this initiative," said Dr. Dena Maloney, Dean of Economic Development at College of the Canyons. "I think we can contribute a great deal as a result of our strong relationships over the years with California businesses, but we also can gain a tremendous amount of insight about global competition by participating as an equal with the high-caliber partners participating in the WIRED initiatives."
The project is one of 13 funded nationally by the U.S. Department of Labor as part of President Bush's Competitiveness Agenda. Through the WIRED (Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development) initiative there will be a $195 million investment in thirteen regional economies. "The only way to address the national challenge of global competition is by building strong regional economies," said Emily Stover DeRocco, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the front lines of the global competition battlefield are not national, but regional, where companies, workers, researchers, entrepreneurs and governments come together to create competitive advantage.
The California Space Authority is responsible for administering the California Coast project spanning 13 counties in a "Workforce Transformation" project that will ultimately help California capitalize on its wealth of science, research and manufacturing assets, as well as retain its role in the leading edge of global innovation. The WIRED Initiative is focusing on labor market areas that are comprised of multiple jurisdictions within state or across state borders, have been affected by global trade, are dependent on a single industry or are recovering from natural disasters.