LOS ANGELES, May 21, 2013 — Demand for vocational and career education is skyrocketing among California's growing Latino population, but the state's overcrowded community colleges will not have room for 840,000 Latino students over a decade, a new study has found.
The demand for a community college education will grow by more than 28 percent among California's Latino population over roughly 10 years, from 2008 to 2019, while demand among the state's white and African American residents will decline, according to the report. The result: Latinos will disproportionately bear the brunt of budget cuts and overcrowded classrooms in the community college system.
The study found that, more than any other group, Latinos will be denied the skills training they need to qualify for high-paying jobs and will lose billions of dollars in personal income. In Los Angeles County and Orange County alone, according to the report, more than 400,000 Latino students will be crowded out of community college classrooms over a decade. Collectively, they will lose almost $9 billion in foregone personal income.
The report, "Left Out, Left Behind: How the Workforce Training Gap Impacts the Latino Population in Los Angeles and Orange Counties," was based on research conducted by Encina Advisors LLC, a Sacramento-based economic consultancy, and was commissioned by Corinthian Colleges Inc., which is based in Santa Ana and is one of the largest post-secondary career education organizations in North America.
"California's economy suffers when we do not make career education and skills training available to every person who can benefit from it," said Steven Lindauer, National Director, Education & Workforce Development, Corinthian Colleges, Inc. "Private career colleges want to work with community colleges around the state to close this 'skills gap.' It's imperative for all Californians, especially Latinos, that we address this problem."
In March, a previous Encina-Corinthian study found that, over a decade, almost 2.5 million Californians will be crowded out of community college programs that lead to career-oriented degrees, diplomas and professional certificates. The resulting loss of professional skills will deny California workers entry into many high-paying jobs and cost them more than $50 billion in lost personal income.
The new report finds that these losses will fall hardest on the state's Latino community.