The California Cloud Workforce Project (Cloud Project), a regionally-grown consortium of 19 Los Angeles community colleges and their partner high schools, launched a new cloud computing program that extends into high school dual enrollment and culminates in industry certifications and employment preparation. The program offers an 18- unit Cloud Computing Certificate that is approved as a state program certificate template with credit portable across the 19 colleges. As part of the initiative, each community college is partnering with at least one high school in the greater Los Angeles area to provide dual enrollment in the cloud courses. Additionally, the project prepares students to attain Amazon Web Services (AWS) certifications. This regional endeavor is funded by California Community College Strong Workforce Program, a $248 million annual investment statewide to develop a modern workforce.
The cloud curriculum was initially designed by faculty at Santa Monica College in partnership with AWS Educate, a global Amazon initiative to help students learn the cloud. The project has broad industry support, leveraging connections with the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation, the Center for a Competitive Workforce, Amazon Web Services and AWS Educate, as well as Apple, Mission Cloud Services, Onica, Kokomo Solutions, and other tech employers to develop “feedback loops” with industry that inform cloud courses and work-based learning opportunities.
The Cloud Project was developed with the goal of building a high-quality regional pathway in cloud computing that is responsive to industry needs, while providing high school and college students real-world experiences through workbased learning. It is a prime example of industry-education alignment that is helping businesses to develop local talent and students to access in-demand jobs. Regional labor market data indicates a need to fill over 4,000 jobs requiring knowledge of AWS annually, which led the Cloud Project to formulate initial goals of 3,000 annual enrollments with 600 students reaching employability status upon program completion.
Prepared by Career Ladders Project