Schwarzenegger: Two Steps Forward

More on California and infrastructure:

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Wednesday released plans to boost enrollment in engineering programs at state universities.

The plan appeared aimed at appeasing the state engineers’ union and Democrats, who have balked at outsourcing government jobs to design roads, schools, levees and other projects.

Way to jump right into that “news analysis,” AP. Gratuitous opinionzing, even if it appears to be accurate opinionizing.

The news release — blog comment, rather — on the engineering initiative is here; it’s from Victoria Bradshaw, secretary of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency. The governor’s news release states these goals:

  • Establish programs at the University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) to expedite certification for veterans with engineering backgrounds. This will open up important employment opportunities to the approximately 3,000 service members discharged to California each year who hold engineering-related military jobs.
  • Direct $1 million in federal Workforce Investment Act funds to develop new apprenticeship programs that partner private industry and California Community Colleges (CCC).
  • Launch the Engineering Education Council to bring more private funds into “pipeline” programs at UC, CSU, CCC and other engineering programs. These programs help move math and science students into the engineering field.
  • Expand the statewide charter of High Tech High, a California charter school organization, to build out engineering-focused charter schools. In 2006, the State Board of Education approved 10 High Tech High charter schools; the Governor proposes to raise this number and expand its charter to grades K-12.
  • A little too much on the micro-initiative side? Makes the proposals appear like they’re aimed at appeasing the state engineers’ union and Democrats, who have balked at outsourcing government jobs to design roads, schools, levees and other projects

    In any case, more kudos to Governor Schwarzenegger, who has a good appreciation of the economy’s need for skilled, trained workers in the technical fields.

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