Kern County wins $18 million grant to streamline school-to-career pathways
High school students in Kern County will get more opportunities to enroll in college, train for careers and receive college and professional mentoring, due to an $18 million state grant, according to the Bakersfield Californian.
The grant, announced by the Kern County Office of Education, is intended to boost the number of young people in Kern County who attend college and are prepared for skilled jobs in the local workforce.
The grant is sorely needed, local officials said. Only 17% of Kern County residents hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared with 35% statewide, the paper reported. Local business owners said they struggle to hire qualified workers, which hurts the local economy.
“By streamlining specific K-16 pathways, we will remove barriers to educational success and improve educational attainment levels for Kern County students,” Mary Barlow, county superintendent of schools, said Thursday. “The programs funded by this grant will ensure all students have equitable access to resources and opportunities, and it will help meet the workforce needs of our region.”