Aligning for Equity: State Cradle-to-Career Investments and the L.A. Region K-16 Collaborative

On Feb. 24, Carrie Lemmon, vice president of Systems Change Strategy, and Adam Gottlieb, director of Postsecondary Strategy and Policy, showcased a digital tool that outlines 17 state investments seeking to advance equity for students. This presentation, given in partnership with the Los Angeles Postsecondary Education Funders Collaborative and SoCal Grantmakers, also offered an overview of the K-16 Regional Collaborative and demonstrated its connectivity with our state funding streams.

The purpose of the digital tool is to highlight key state investments and articulate intersections among numerous cross-segmental investments. At some intersection in a student's life, these investments are designed to close equity and opportunity gaps to better serve students' social well-being and better prepare them for college and career success. Highlighted was one key investment - the California Regional K-16 Education Collaboratives Grant Program - which aims to support California's economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic while addressing long-standing social and economic inequities in higher education and workforce participation. 

In August 2022, UNITE-LA, in partnership with education and workforce leaders across the region, launched the L.A. Region K-16 Collaborative, which aims to close education and workforce equity gaps for students of color, especially interested in careers in health care and computer science and engineering. This opportunity is actively being strengthened by the digital crosswalk of aligned funding as partners across L.A. County apply for complimentary student-serving funds. For 15 years, the L.A. Compact has worked to collaborate across education, workforce and civic segments to achieve common goals, and now, thanks to a combination of COVID relief funds and previous unprecedented budget surpluses, the region has an opportunity to expand its partnerships and resulting impact in cradle-to-career efforts.

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