The Central Region Agricultural Education Career Pathway Consortium, the recipient of a California Career Pathways Trust grant of $15,000,000 to improve, expand and initiate Agricultural Mechanics, Agriscience and Ornamental Horticulture career pathways.


The CRAECP Consortium consists of twenty-three high school districts which include thirty-six high schools; three community colleges; and three universities. This regional partnership is one of 40 consortia across California that comprise the second round recipients of grants provided through the California Career Pathways Trust (CCPT) program.  This is the largest program of its kind in the nation. The program is providing nearly $500 million in career tech grants over two rounds of grants.

The focus of the CRAECP consortium grant is to blend academic and agricultural career technical education, connect employers with schools, and train students for jobs in high-demand fields associated with Agricultural Mechanics, Agriscience and Ornamental Horticulture. Jim Aschwanden, Director, California Agricultural Teachers’ Association states: “The CATA is eager to serve as a partner in this epic opportunity to promote, improve and initiate career pathways in agriculture that are based on a partnership of education and industry that will successfully prepare students for postsecondary training, and/or direct placement, in the agriculture industry.”


The CRAECP consortium award focuses on three distinct agricultural industry sectors at both the secondary and postsecondary levels. In the instruction and training of Agricultural Mechanics, Agriscience and Ornamental Horticulture the community colleges will partner with high school agriculture programs and local agriculture industry in the development and implementation of high school courses, career technical education (CTE) pathway programs, community college certificates and degrees, and industry-based certifications that support careers in those sectors. Additionally Career Pathways programs connect education to business through work-based learning that allows students to explore and experience real jobs under the mentorship of professionals in these industries. Work-based learning provides students with valuable opportunities to learn what is involved in various careers, what kinds of skills are needed to be successful, and whether they want to pursue a similar job as a career.


The CRAECPC works with the region’s Agriculture, Water and Environmental Technology Deputy Sector Navigators,, to provide outreach and partnership support to the community colleges; facilitate the endorsement of new credit Career Technical Education programs; and serves as a connection between local colleges and business.