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The application period is now open for the second round of funding under the California Career Pathways Trust, which makes $250 million in grants available for career preparation programs.

The money is available to partnerships between school districts and county offices, community colleges and businesses that promote career pathway programs in schools. Career pathways integrate academics with real-world work experience in specialized fields, such as health care, engineering, finance and others.

The Career Pathways Trust was created last year at the urging of then-Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, to promote programs that link academics and work experience. Applications for the first $250 million fund quickly outpaced available funding, so the state this year allocated a second round of funding for the competitive grant program, for a total $500 million investment over two years.

Application information is available on the California Department of Education’s Career Pathway Trust website. Letters of intent to apply for a grant are due to the education department by Nov. 21, while applications are due Feb. 6, 2015. The grants will be available for the 2015-16 fiscal year through the 2016-17 fiscal year.

The education department will also hold a series of grant workshops in November for prospective applicants.

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