Foundation for California Community Colleges Receives $1 Million Grant from Lumina Foundation to Advance Construction Careers for Students

Foundation for California Community Colleges Receives $1 Million Grant from Lumina Foundation to Advance Construction Careers for Students

Program will strengthen collaboration between California Workforce Development Board “High Road Construction Careers” entities and community colleges to increase placement of pre-apprentice students into paid employment and apprenticeship opportunities in construction

SACRAMENTO, CA—January 18, 2022—The Foundation for California Community Colleges (FoundationCCC) announced today it received a million-dollar grant from Lumina Foundation for a two-year project to support the advancement of construction careers as a reliable pathway for California Community Colleges students. FoundationCCC will specifically work to increase alignment between the community colleges and California state workforce systems, including the California Workforce Development Board, the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency, and the State Building & Construction Trades Councils, by providing “High Road Recovery” grants to three “High Road Construction Careers” (HRCC) grantees.

California’s high road post-pandemic recovery faces dual challenges, including lack of diversity in the trades and a need to provide students with more streamlined access to college credits that connect to industry recognized credentials. Along with project partners, FoundationCCC has awarded subgrants to the following existing regional HRCC initiatives, recognizing efforts which encourage alignment among building trade councils and community college partners to facilitate and institute college credits:

  • Fresno ValleyBuild MC3 Consortium
  • San Bernardino Community College District
  • San Diego Workforce Partnership

Awarded proposals will take unique approaches to increase the number of California community colleges that offer credit and credentials for Multi-Craft Core Curriculum (MC3), a comprehensive pre-apprenticeship curriculum developed and approved by the Building Trades National Apprenticeship in 2008. They will provide solutions which reduce barriers and enhance access to career paths in construction, especially for workers without advanced math and English skills. Ultimately, efforts will provide students an opportunity to gain basic math and language skills through subject matter and coursework contextualized within the occupation in which students are receiving professional skills training.

The work further aligns with Lumina Foundation’s own goal of opening quality career avenues and opportunities beyond the trades, and helps support the California Community Colleges ambition to meet the state’s need for an educated and skilled workforce, as outlined in the Vision for Success.

“New federal and state investments in infrastructure will lead to the creation of millions of new jobs, many of which do not require a four-year degree but will require some form of post-high school education and training,” said Lumina Strategy Director Kermit Kaleba. “California has been a leader in bringing together community colleges, unions, and other stakeholders to ensure that job seekers – including adults of color – can access high quality training to enter and advance in these jobs, and we’re proud to support these efforts to strengthen pathways for Californians.”

The HRCC statewide initiative puts dollars to work to advance careers in the building and construction trades as a reliable pathway to the middle class for disadvantaged Californians via MC3. Services provided to MC3 participants are designed to assist disadvantaged students in overcoming the barriers that prevent them from gaining entry to apprenticeships in high-paying fields, including electrical, plumbing, and sheet metal, or careers in related fields, such as construction management, landscape architecture, and engineering.

Through this generous funding from Lumina Foundation, FoundationCCC will help HRCCs and community colleges develop best practices for collaboration that will lead to a substantial increase in credential attainment and quality employment for students.

To learn more about the High Road Construction Careers (HRCC) program, please visit the HRCC website. To learn more about California Community College’s Vision for Success, please visit the Chancellor’s Office website.


The Foundation for California Community Colleges is the official nonprofit foundation to the California Community Colleges Board of Governors and Chancellor’s Office. The Foundation’s mission is to benefit, support, and enhance the missions of the California Community Colleges system, the largest higher education system in the nation. Incorporated in 1998, the Foundation works to benefit all California Community College students, colleges, college foundations, and the system as a whole by accelerating paths to economic and social mobility, strengthening communities, and reducing barriers to opportunities for all Californians. The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization. For more information, visit

California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation, composed of 73 districts and 116 colleges with 116 campuses 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 their Facebook and Twitter.

Lumina Foundation is an independent, private foundation in Indianapolis that is committed to making opportunities for learning beyond high school available to all. We envision a system that is easy to navigate, delivers fair results, and meets the nation’s need for talent through a broad range of credentials. Their goal is to prepare people for informed citizenship and for success in a global economy. For more information about The Lumina Foundation and the Racial Equity for Adult Credentials in Higher ed: The REACH Collaborative, please visit their website.