News Release

Santa Ana College Foundation and Community Organizations Receive $250,000 Grant from Workforce Development Initiative


Funding will go toward development of IT training and employment placement program for Orange County youth

(Santa Ana, Calif.) – The Santa Ana College (SAC) Foundation has been selected to receive a $250,000 grant from the Orange County Community Foundation’s (OCCF) Henry W. & Ellen R. Warne Fund as part of a new Workforce Development Initiative. This grant will expand an existing IT certificate program to a larger group of individuals. In short, more students will be able to complete the necessary training and move directly towards employment placement, creating a critical entry point for 18-28 year-old Orange County residents who are either unemployed or underemployed into the IT career of their choice.

This partnership, which includes Taller San Jose Hope Builders, High School Inc. Academies Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County and the Inland Empire, and Alteryx, will provide wraparound support services for students as they complete:

    • a one semester college certificate
    • an eight-week internship
    • and specific industry credentials in preparation for high-demand employment opportunities in the tech field

“OCCF is proud to fund SAC’s collaborative program as part of our mission to catalyze sustainable community impact,” said Shelley Hoss, president & CEO. “There are thousands of available middle-skills jobs in Orange County but not enough skilled candidates to fill them. Our goal is to increase the number of Community College students acquiring the training and certification necessary for these opportunities by connecting educational institutions and workforce development programs to jobs within targeted business sectors in Orange County.”

According to a report by the Orange County Business Council, as technological advancements and business processes continue to evolve, the number of middle-skill occupations [those that require more than a high school diploma but less than a four-year degree] will continue to grow faster than the overall labor market. In fact, 34 of the 50 fastest growing Orange County occupations (in terms of percentage growth) will be middle-skill jobs, offering both higher than average wages and upward mobility. Filling this gap not only improves the lives of those middle-skill workers but will also ensure the Orange County economy continues on its growth trajectory.

“Hope Builders is excited to be part of this dynamic partnership,” said Executive Director Shawna Smith. “Our vision at Hope Builders is an Orange County where all young people have the skills they need to thrive economically. We seek young people driven by the desire to move beyond their current limitations, and we build the foundational work readiness from which young adults can launch careers. Our partners in this collaborative will allow us to ensure youth are equipped with the skills and support needed to succeed on the road to higher wages.”

“As we prepare to launch SAC Foundation’s Raising the Game advancement campaign,” said Dr. Linda Rose, president, Santa Ana College, “major gifts like this will enable SAC and its community partners to provide the resources to help students succeed and ultimately achieve their academic and career goals.”

About Santa Ana College
Santa Ana College (SAC), which turned 100 years old in 2015, serves about 27,000 students each semester at its main campus in Santa Ana. The college prepares students for transfer to four-year institutions and provides invaluable workforce training and customized training for business and industry. In addition, another 11,000 students are served through the college’s School of Continuing Education located at Centennial Education Center. Ranked as one of the nation’s top two-year colleges awarding associate degrees to Latino and Asian students, the college is also recognized throughout the state for its comprehensive workforce training programs for nurses, firefighters, law enforcement and other medical personnel. SAC is one of two comprehensive colleges under the auspices of the Rancho Santiago Community College District.

Contact: Brin Wall

Phone: (714) 564-5527