April 6, 2021
The Honorable Mark Takano
U.S. Congressman, California 41
Washington, DC 20515
RE: Support for FY 2022 RCCD COMMUNTY FUNDING REQUEST
Dear Congressman Takano:
Inland Action is offering this letter of support for the FY22 appropriations request recently submitted by Riverside Community College District (RCCD) to develop an Inland Empire Technical Trade Center (IETTC) in the Jurupa Valley area centrally located at the intersection between two counties compromising 4.6 million people and growing rapidly.
The Inland Empire includes Riverside and San Bernardino counties – the 10th and 12th largest counties in America by population, respectively, and among the fastest growing regions in the United States. While the Inland Empire enjoys a variety of traditional postsecondary institutions offering certificate and degree programs, there are only a handful of public technical training centers in southern California. In the Inland Empire, these centers are largely private and for-profit and are often expensive and inaccessible without students incurring significant debt to attend. These private and for-profit centers, while offering technical training in skilled trades, generally lack the necessary infrastructure, support systems and complementary academic offerings that California Community Colleges can holistically provide to the region’s most at-risk populations. According to the Brookings Institution (2019), “Providing education and workforce supports can improve workers’ ability to obtain good or promising jobs.”
Given the need for local technical training capacity to support the region’s residents, current and emerging employers, and the strong commitment of the Riverside Community College District (RCCD) to build and scale pathways that offer residents the ability to move from poverty to self-sufficiency, RCCD plans to establish the Inland Empire Technical Trade Center (IETTC). The IETTC is a response to the urgent need for good jobs for the region’s residents, diversification of the regional economy, and for a locally available educated and skilled workforce for the region’s current and future employers.
A central component of the IETTC will be an integrated “earn and learn” model providing students with industry-based opportunities for application and development of technical skills through apprenticeship, pre-apprenticeship, and other potential work-based learning opportunities.
The FY22 funds requested by the RCCD will be used to plan and develop/design this IETTC. The Community Project request is scalable, a concept that we support, with the higher end of the request allowing for a more rapid completion of the planning and design stage.
Thank you for your consideration of this important project. Please do not hesitate to call on me if you have any questions about our support.
Carole Beswick, CEO