California is in a Growing Workforce Crisis

California needs TWO MILLION more degrees and certificates to meet today’s workforce needs, promote economic mobility for its residents and remain competitive. (Source)

  • Classrooms are closing as the state experiences a widening teacher shortage gap with 75% of school districts short of the needed fully trained teachers and increases in teacher retirements. Source
  • Just last year, there was a 30% gap in the number of teachers receiving credentials that are needed to keep up with staffing according to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.
  • Growing shortages of essential health care workers to fill the daily needs of patients – including a shortage of over 40,000 registered nurses. Source

5.1 MILLION California adults over 25 years old intend to enroll in higher education within the next two years. Source

Yet current college capacity does not meet our state’s workforce demand and needs — forcing more Californians to leave the state. Source

California is Failing Adult Learners

  • California ranks last in the nation with 57% of adults in need of higher education. [Source: Strada-Gallup Education Consumer Survey 2018-2019] With 6.8 million Californians 25-64 with a high school diploma but not a college degree.
  • The need to overcome financial barriers and provide 24/7 flexibility in educational courses are the biggest changes needed to enable California adults to return or enroll in a higher education program.
  • Adults with some college experience but no degree cite the single most common reason for stopping their education is the need for flexibility and difficulty of balancing school and work. Source
  • If these barriers are addressed, 50% of these adult learners expressed strong interest in returning or enrolling in higher education.*

Time to Prioritize Higher Education Opportunities for Adult Learners

  • Eliminate barriers for financial support by creating an Adult Learner Workforce Opportunity Grant specific to adult learners who need 100% flexibility to earn a degree or credential.
  • The grant will open opportunities to adult learners who need financial relief and the flexibility to learn around their work and family schedules. 
  • Support Legislation to Create the Adult Learner Workforce Opportunity Grant.

For more information, go to www.CAL-Network.com/

*Heart+Mind Strategies completed n=1065 interviews with a representative sample of Californians with some or no college matching age, gender, and ethnicity of the US Census for California. Additional oversample interviews were conducted with key groups, including: veterans, single mothers/fathers, foster children, rural residents, low-income rural residents, Asians, 1st and 2nd generation immigrants. Respondents participated via an online survey conducted June 15 to July 20, 2021.