Strong Workforce

Strong Workforce Program: More and Better Career Technical Education to Increase Social Mobility and Fuel Regional Economies with Skilled Workers

At the recommendation of the California Community College Board of Governors, the Governor and Legislature approved the Strong Workforce Program, adding a new annual recurring investment of $248 million to spur Career Technical Education (CTE) in the nation’s largest workforce development system of 115 colleges. Strong Workforce Program funding aims to create more and better CTE - more enrollments, more completions, more students employed in their field of interest.

At Modesto Junior College, the application planning and submission process is due each academic year on the first Friday in December. Project applications funded begin their workplan in the upcoming academic year. Projects have up to 24 months to complete all expenditures and workplan activities.  

2020 Strong Workforce Presentation

Instructions for 2022-23 Proposals

The timeline and specific instructions for proposals in the 2021-22 year are now available.

August 20, 2021               Strong Workforce Proposal Application Announced
September - November    Technical Assistance for proposal development 
December 3, 2021            Application Due Date 3:00pm.
December-January           Review and ranking of proposals (SW Review Committee)
January 28, 2022              2022-23PY SWP Projects submitted to State Chancellor's Office

 Steps to developing a Strong Workforce Proposal

1. Review labor market information

2. Complete the project proposal form and budget worksheet

Twenty-one innovative projects have been funded in the last five years.

2016-17 Strong Workforce Projects

  • Agriculture Irrigation Lab. Establishing a fully operational outdoor irrigation lab with small reservoir, pump systems, sprinkler systems, and technical measurement equipment.
  • Sustainable Agriculture Program. Enhancing solar and wind power, sustainable gardens, water conservation, and bee habitat.
  • Associate Degree Nursing. Equipment to enhance ADN program: intravenous simulator, mobile medication workstations.
  • Business. Cross-disciplinary redesign of Business Administration and Office Administration programs to improve alignment with industry needs and develop student internship opportunities
  • Fire Science. Equipment to enhance Fire Training Center Burn Room.
  • Career Services Center. Establishing a dedicated career services center to provide services to students in four areas: exploration, preparation, workplace learning, and job placement assistance
  • Marketing. Marketing to promote CTE programs: billboards, television ads, social media

 2017-18 Strong Workforce Projects

  • Dual Enrollment. Increase dual enrollment opportunities for high school students in the community.
  • Welding Expansion. Update welding equipment and infrastructure; increase course offerings at MJC and Columbia College.
  • Certified Nursing Assistant Expansion. Increase program courses to students at MJC and Columbia College.
  • Agriculture Fabrication. Enhance and replace fabrication/welding equipment in the Power Mechanics program.
  • Allied Health Multi-Purpose Lab. Establish a working lab for multiple health oriented programs.
  • Fire Science Satellites. Establish satellite fire science programs in multiple locations throughout the county.

2018-19 Strong Workforce Projects

  • Cyber Security. Develop curriculum and establish a cyber security program that includes partnership with local K-12 schools in a "Cyber Patriots" program, a summer academy, and national certification.
  • Gaming/Interactive Design. Expand computer graphics/computer science program to incorporate game engine technology for production of video games and interactive applications.
  • Television/Digital Media. Develop a certificate in TV and Digital Media.

2019-20 Strong Workforce Projects

  • Agriculture Hydroponics. Research and lab opportunities in the use of cargo storage container grow chambers and hydroponic plant growth for sustainable agriculture.
  • Child Development Infant Lab. Establish an infant inclusion instructional lab for applied learning with infants between 4 and 18 months.
  • Engineering and Industry Automation.  New program to provide multiple pathways for engineering transfer and engineering technology students
  • Construction/Multi-purpose Training Outdoor Lab. Install outdoor, structural canopies for all-weather program teaching and learning

2020-21 Strong Workforce Projects

  • Agriculture  Irrigation Tech. Develop premier irrigation training facility on west campus.
  • Agriculture Business: Farmer's Market Store. Develop learning lab capstone project area for agriculture business students.
  • Business/Entrepreneurship. Develop training, support, and networks for entrepreneurs to explore creating their own business.
  • Engineering and Industry Automation. Continued development of new applied engineering program. 
  • Television/Digital Media. Develop a certificate in TV and Digital Media.
  • Integrated ESL-CTE Pathway Models: Develop and pilot five different IET Models with CTE Pathways that on-ramp ESL students into the workplace and certificate and degree studies.

2021-22 Strong Workforce Projects

  • Agriculture Mechanics Fabrication: Improve learning lab facility to support agriculture mechanics facilities AG 108.
  • Business/Entrepreneurship. Continued development of training, support, program and networks for entrepreneurs and business.
  • Paramedics Program. Development of not-for-credit and CPL Paramedic approved program.


Pedro Mendez
Dean, Career Technical Education, Community & Workforce Development
Career Technical Education/Workforce