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Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes, Local Leaders from Inland Empire Urge Support for Inland Empire Technical Trade Center

For immediate release:

(RIVERSIDE) — At a press conference today, Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes (D-Corona) was joined by local education, labor, business, and civic leaders to call on the Governor and Legislature to adopt the $33 million Legislative budget allocation to fund 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 local regional economy, and for a locally available educated and skilled workforce for the region’s current and future employers.

“Only 41 percent of Inland Empire households have incomes above the real cost of living, and too many families struggle to make ends meet, being forced to rely on jobs with insufficient pay, few benefits, and no viable career pathway,” said Assemblymember Cervantes, who is also the Chair of the Committee on Jobs, Economic Development, and the Economy. “Riverside County is one of the fastest-growing counties in the state of California and yet 54 percent of our region’s workforce is neither formally trained nor skilled. The IETTC will be a linchpin for our region’s transformation into a prosperous, diverse economy, where our K-12 students participate in quality career tech programs that seamlessly connect to aligned career development pathways, all supported by our community colleges, local workforce development boards, and other excellent institutions of higher education.”

"The Riverside Community College District Board of Trustees and leadership see great potential in an Inland Empire Technical Trade Center," said Riverside Community College District Board President Bill Hedrick. "The capacity and viability of the present workforce development system inadequately addresses the current and future need for skilled and educated locally available workers. As a result, employers and the economy are impacted by a lack of coordination, alignment and resources."

"As community partners we are ready to tackle issues of equity, access and inclusion through the development of a center that will move students, families, and communities from poverty to prosperity.  At the IETTC, we will offer apprenticeships and internships that will allow students to earn while they learn," said Riverside Community College District Chancellor Wolde-Ab Isaac. "The Inland Empire Technical Trade Center has the potential to transport students from poverty to self-sufficiency. For many students, earning a skills based certificate is a point of entry to employment and a first step to earning a degree in their chosen field."

“The Jurupa Valley City Council and Assembly Member Cervantes recognize the lack of technical training opportunities putting a generation at risk of not being prepared for the region’s jobs,” stated City of Jurupa Valley Mayor Pro Tem Altamirano. “The Inland Empire Trade Center is the solution we need for a locally available, educated, and skilled workforce. The City of Jurupa Valley urges the Legislature and Governor to adopt the funding allocation for the center outlined in the legislative budget.”

“This 33 million dollars should come here. For many years people would come out to the inland Empire — it was cheap land, cheap labor, and an uneducated workforce. That has to change,” said Joe Duffle, President of the Inland Empire Labor Council. “If we want to take care of the residents and the people that work in this community, we need this funding. And we all need to take this seriously and provide the educational opportunities for our children and their children to work in the communities in which they serve.”

The IETTC addresses the persistent income disparities and need for high-road jobs in the Inland Empire by expanding local technical training capacity through an integrated “earn and learn” model, which provides students with work-based learning opportunities to further develop technical skills. The cornerstone of the IETTC is the commitment to collaboration between business, labor, community, governmental, and educational partners, facilitating the creation of pathways for residents between K-12 schools, institutions of higher education, and the local workforce. By fostering local connections, the IETTC provides opportunities for long-term careers in the region, boosting economic growth, alleviating the income gap, and providing opportunities out of poverty.

“The fact that hundreds of thousands of people struggle to make ends meet in the world’s fifth-largest economy is nothing short of a travesty. With the Inland Empire expected to further grow to 7 million residents over the next thirty years and bearing the brunt of the impacts caused by climate change, it is vital that we make key education and workforce investments now,” added Assemblymember Cervantes. “The strong collaboration on this project between businesses, labor, and our educational institutions is a testament to our state’s key values of opportunity, inclusivity, and equality, as well as the shared vision of the IETTC as a pillar for our region, building the Inland Empire into a nationally recognized destination for high-quality jobs, technological innovation, and quality of life. I urge the Governor and my colleagues in the Legislature to act, and support this vital investment in our communities and their futures.”

The state budget deal is currently being negotiated by the Assembly, Senate, and the Governor. The California Constitution requires that the state adopt a budget by June 15.

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Sabrina Cervantes is a mother who proudly represents the 60th District of the California State Assembly, which encompasses the cities of Corona, Eastvale, Jurupa Valley, Norco, a portion of Riverside, and the unincorporated communities of Coronita, El Cerrito, and Home Gardens. Cervantes serves as Chair of the Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development, and the Economy.