LaunchPath Increases Workforce Readiness Training for Students

SACRAMENTO, California—April 24, 2014—The Foundation for California Community Colleges, in partnership with the Linked Learning Alliance, unveiled the new LaunchPath program this morning—an innovative approach to creating work-based learning experiences that impact students and employers in the Sacramento region. 

LaunchPath is funded through a $1.2 million grant from JPMorgan Chase, who is making an $8 million investment in workforce readiness training in Northern California—part of a five-year, $250 million New Skills at Work global initiative. JPMorgan Chase announced the initiative at this morning’s New Skills at Work regional showcase of corporate community champions in Sacramento.

Keetha Mills, Foundation for California Community Colleges President and CEO, addressed over 100 business leaders and educators at the event to share details about the program’s mission to engage regional employers in creating work-based learning experiences for high school and Community College students, starting with the Sacramento region.

“LaunchPath provides exciting opportunities for students to develop the skills they need to succeed in the modern economy,” said Mills. “We are proud to work with the Linked Learning Alliance and JPMorgan Chase to help better prepare California’s students to enter the workforce and start their careers.”

LaunchPath utilizes a responsive online matching platform to match high school and Community College students with paid internships in priority industries, including health, engineering, and renewable energy. This industry-focused training addresses the workforce “skills gap” and enables students to master the skills required to attain careers that align with their interests. The program’s initial focus will be on the Sacramento region, with plans to expand throughout California. Additional resources will be provided to engage and support employers in this movement, including industry-specific outreach sessions and human resources services.

Regional employers across a broad base of economic industries, including health, energy, public service and small business, have joined the coalition of educators and business leaders committed to the LaunchPath program, and many were in attendance at today’s event. Employers who have already committed include Sutter Health, SMUD, PG&E, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Enable Energy, Revolutions Natural Medical Solutions, and Valley Vision.

“As a small business owner I know firsthand how critical it is to find the right people for the organization,” said Justin Raithel of Revolutions Natural Medical Solutions. “The vision of LaunchPath to provide quality assurance and expediency to connecting employers with the best fit students is very compelling, especially for small businesses. I am eager to participate in the pilot and help make this initiative work.”

The Foundation has been providing work-based learning opportunities since 1998 through its Career Catalyst student internship program, which pairs students from California colleges and universities with public and private sector employers for paid internships. The funding provided by JPMorgan Chase has allowed the Foundation to expand its workforce readiness efforts and provide the necessary resources to involve a wider array of students, schools, and employers. To learn more, or to sign up to join LaunchPath, visit

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About the Foundation for California Community Colleges
The Foundation for California Community Colleges is the official nonprofit foundation to the California Community Colleges’ Board of Governors and Chancellor’s Office. The Foundation’s mission is to benefit, support, and enhance the missions of the California Community College system, the largest higher education system in the nation. Incorporated in 1998, the Foundation works with Community Colleges and partner organizations to manage donations, grants, programs, and services that drive excellence in education. The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit corporation and receives no direct state or public support. Information about the Foundation is available at

About Linked Learning Alliance
The Linked Learning Alliance is a nonprofit statewide coalition of education, industry, and community organizations dedicated to improving California’s high schools and preparing students for success in college, career, and life. Information about the Linked Learning Alliance is available at

About JPMorgan Chase
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.4 trillion and operations worldwide. The firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small business, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, asset management, and private equity. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of consumers in the United States and many of the world’s most prominent corporate, institutional, and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at

Media Contacts

Foundation for California Community Colleges
Nancy Pryor, 916.498.6702

Linked Learning Alliance
Hilary McLean, 916.248.4848

JPMorgan Chase
Suzanne Ryan, 213.621.8642