The recently passed omnibus bill promises funding to the LACCD.
By Emily Faith Grodin, Staff Writer
President Joe Biden signed bill H.R. 2471 into law on March 15. The $1.5 trillion omnibus bill allocates a percentage of funding for community colleges’ “crucial student services.”
These services include student transportation, workforce development and basic needs. The funding looks to ensure access to colleges in the district and support for their students. Valley College and Mission College will receive $1.3 million and $400,000 to continue expanding on workforce development programs.
“We’re grateful for the support LACCD has received via the Community Project Funding process,” said Board of Trustee member Steven Veres. “The additional $400,000 will help our future STEM workforce build the skills needed to thrive. In addition, $1 million for student transportation for all LACCD students was secured, expanding the Metro Fareless System Initiative Pilot Program to ensure that students have access to transportation to get to college and work.”
Valley offers numerous degrees in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. Many of the skills required for the future workers of the fields require special training, workshops, and hands on experience. The funding secured in the grant will be used for additional training to ensure that students have the skills needed in these fields to meet labor demands. Valley offers majors in anthropology, biology, chemistry, computer science and more. In addition to supplementing the stem program, funding will also go into expanding workforce development programs that offer training in specific vocations such as biotech and manufacturing.
The Metro Fareless System Initiative, or more recently known as the GoPass program, is designed to allow students to ride Metro operated buses and trains for free. The pilot is currently set to run through the end of this year. But funding received from the bill will allow for the program to launch in full, and will enable transportation to and from work, not just school.
At Los Angeles City College, nearly $1 million dollars will go to the Basic Needs Project, which offers assistance with food, health services, housing and other essentials. With the funding they will also be able to help with test fees, course supplies, tutoring and more.