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Strong Workforce Program Fund (484 Series)


484 Series


To develop more workforce opportunity and lift low-wage workers into living-wage jobs, California took a bold step in 2016 to create one million more middle-skill workers. At the recommendation of the California Community College Board of Governors, the Governor and Legislature approved the Strong Workforce Program (SWP), adding a new annual recurring investment of $200 million to spur career technical education (CTE) in the nation’s largest workforce development system of 114 colleges.

Grouped into seven areas targeting student success, career pathways, workforce data and outcomes, curriculum, CTE faculty, regional coordination and funding, this leading-edge state economic development program is driven by “more and better” CTE. The “more” is increasing the number of students enrolled in programs leading to high-demand, high-wage jobs. The “better” is improving program quality, as evidenced by more students completing or transferring programs, getting employed or improving their earnings.

This new ongoing funding is structured as a 60 percent Local Share allocation for each community college district and a 40 percent Regional Share determined by a regional consortia of colleges to focus on the state’s seven macro-economic regions. Both the Local and Regional Share require local stakeholders to collaborate, including industry and local workforce development boards. As much as possible, this program builds upon existing regional partnerships formed in conjunction with the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, state Adult Education Block Grant and public school CTE programs.


Strong Workforce Program (SWP) focuses on data-driven outcomes rather than activities, and emphasizes innovation and risk-taking. In this way, colleges can be more responsive to labor market conditions and student outcomes. Due to the focus on outcomes, the CCCCO has granted local control of the funding. Rather than a state approval process, colleges are required to certify that the use of funds will meet the intent of the legislation which requires SWP investments to accomplish all of the following:

  • Increase the number of students in quality CTE courses, programs and pathways that lead to successful workforce outcomes.
  • Increase the number of quality CTE courses, programs and pathways that lead to successful workforce outcomes.
  • Address recommendations from the Strong Workforce Task Force (Appendix A).


American River College has established an annual competitive application process for allocating the college’s available Local Share which is projected to be roughly $800,000 in FY 2021-2022. Projected allocation of $2.7 million, minus ARC ongoing costs, SWP Year 1 and 2 commitments, and Technology set-aside The application process was developed by the college’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) Taskforce, a taskforce with representatives from CTE faculty, classified staff, and administrators.


SWP funding may be used to support a wide range of activities. However, the central purpose of any SWP activity must be “more and better” CTE, and activities should be designed with the goal of increasing enrollments, completions, transfers, employment, or wages for students.


  • SWP projects/investments may not supplant existing funding for CTE, nor be used for entertainment, alcoholic beverages, rainy day funds, personal use, lobbying, charitable donations, or fundraising activities.


Year-end balances for Strong Workforce Funds are carried over to next fiscal year to the institution. It does not roll over to the area.