November 08, 2019

Contact: Christina Jimenez


T 916.322.4004

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Two California Community College programs have been recognized by the California Economic Summit’s 2019 Partnerships for Industry & Education (PIE) Contest. Modesto Junior College and Shasta College join the Wonderful Agriculture Career Prep program as the three winners which will be honored at the Eighth Annual California Economic Summit—a two-day event gathering private, public and civic leaders from throughout the state.

Established in 2017, the PIE Contest rewards employer-education partnership programs that are making progress in preparing California workers with skills they need to succeed in their region. Criteria for the PIE Contest includes the ability to demonstrate a partnership between an employer and a California educational institution, and specific success outcomes. Modesto Junior College and Shasta College join Antelope Valley College (2018) and Chaffey College (2017) as recipients of the PIE Contest award. These community college partnerships help bolster the California Community Colleges’ Vision for Success, which aims to reduce equity and regional achievement gaps through faster improvements among traditionally underrepresented student groups. These programs help students from all backgrounds succeed in completing their coursework, to gain a degree or certificate that leads to a good-paying job to help improve the lives for them and their families.

“I applaud the work of Modesto Junior College and Shasta College for the impressive partnership programs that are helping develop California’s workforce,” said California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley. “The California Community Colleges is the state’s engine for economic mobility and progress, made possible when higher education workforce development opportunities are bolstered by partnerships with community leaders and employers.”

The three winners were selected from a group of nearly 100 programs nominated this year. They are:

  1. VOLT Institute, which is a partnership between the Stanislaus County Office of Education, Modesto Junior College and Opportunity Stanislaus. Its goal is to train a highly skilled workforce for local manufacturing industry that is facing a shortage of qualified workers.


  1. The Shasta College Step-Up Program, which offers education and vocational training to students that were formerly incarcerated and/or suffered from alcohol or drug addiction. Students can work toward certificates in Career Education programs or attain an associate degree all while receiving hands-on instruction.

  2. The Wonderful Agriculture Career Prep Program, which offers students in eight high schools throughout the Central Valley the opportunity to graduate with both a high school and an associate degree. After high school graduation, participating students can begin their career or move to a four-year college as a junior with scholarships from The Wonderful Company.

The Vice Chancellor of Workforce and Economic Development, Sheneui Weber, echoed her praise for the winners. “A strong workforce in California requires that Californians have the skills needed for jobs in emerging, specialized fields and illuminated pathways to get there. It is an exciting and critical time to see the fruition of intentional, mutually-beneficial workforce development partnerships between industry employers and these educational institutions,” she said.

The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation, composed of 73 districts and 115 colleges serving 2.1 million students per year. California community colleges provide career education and workforce training; guaranteed transfer to four-year universities; degree and certificate pathways; and basic skills education in English and math. As the state’s engine for social and economic mobility, the California Community Colleges supports the Vision for Success, a strategic plan designed to improve student success outcomes, increase transfer rates and eliminate achievement gaps. For more information, please visit the California Community Colleges website or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.