IR #2008-66
October 23, 2008

Dean Fryer
(415) 703-5050
Pam Kelly, PRx
(408) 483-2410

DIR Applauds completion of California's First Construction College

San Jose—October 23, 2008—Department of Industrial Relations Director John C.  Duncan today lauded the opening of the new California Construction College (CCC), a state-of-the art construction school that demonstrates California’s innovation in Career Technical Education (CTE).

The CCC is part of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s commitment to improve and strengthen Career Technical Education at the high school and community college levels. The programs provided by the college, located on the campus of San Jose City College, will allow professionals in construction to obtain a bachelor, associate, or certificate-level degrees. Apprentices will also be able to receive college credit for work experience received during their apprenticeship training.

“This construction college is designed to attract both high school graduates and midcareer skilled workers who are looking for professional careers as construction managers, job estimators, supervisors, project engineers and CTE teachers that require college level training,” said Duncan in an address at the college’s opening.

"Attending the CCC allows students to work in their professions and earn a living while learning the skills necessary to reach their individual career goals. The CCC also plays an important role in meeting the governor’s infrastructure rebuilding priorities,” added Duncan.

The CCC is funded by public and private partnerships. The college received a two-year $500,000 grant made possible through legislation signed by Governor Schwarzenegger. Additional funding from the private sector generated $1 million for startup costs.

Industry leaders say there is a need for California-trained construction project managers because many projects or bids have been awarded to out-of-state firms. In 2006 there were 12,000 construction managers with bachelor’s degrees in California and 30,000 job openings.

The CCC’s construction courses will focus on “green” building practices and prepare professionals for the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification, the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. 

 “This creative approach helps students facing challenging economic conditions and employers who want to hire construction professionals but are met with a shortage of qualified candidates and increased competition for those that exist,” said Rosa Pérez, Chancellor of the San José/Evergreen Community College District.

The CCC, now serving a pilot class of 30 students, is a joint venture between the Santa Clara County Construction Careers Association, San José City College, and National Labor College an accredited institution based in Maryland, a partnership supported by labor organizations, the construction industry, and the education sector including the California Community College Chancellor’s Office.

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