Rio Hondo College Career and Technical Education Programs Honored for Boosting Wages, Employment for Graduates

WHITTIER – Rio Hondo College is receiving acclaim for the ability of its career and technical education (CTE) programs to boost earnings and employment in desired career fields for students who earn certificates or degrees.

The Strong Workforce Stars program, an annual recognition given by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, awarded a Gold Star, Silver Star and seven Bronze Stars to Rio Hondo College programs that advanced social mobility for students.

“These awards recognize one of the strengths of Rio Hondo College – the ability of our programs to help students discover careers that not only meet their personal goals, but also provide them with a substantially higher standard of living,” Superintendent/President Teresa Dreyfuss said.

Programs were assessed on improvement in earnings by 50 percent or more former students, attainment of the regional living wage by 70 percent or more and employment of 90 percent or more in jobs similar to their field of study. Gold Stars went to programs that boosted all three metrics, Silver Stars went to those that boosted two metrics and Bronze Stars to those that boosted a single metric.

Rio Hondo College’s highly regarded registered nursing program received a Gold Star. Graduates’ earnings rose 192 percent, 77 percent attained the regional living wage and 100 percent are employed in a job similar to their field of study.

The College’s innovative automotive technology program received a Silver Star for boosting earnings by 104 percent and helping 100 percent of graduates find employment in jobs similar to their field of study. The automotive technology program is one of the nation’s premier programs. The program includes partnerships with major auto firms, including a new training initiative with Tesla, as well as a unique Bachelor of Science program.

Bronze Star programs ranged from drafting to accounting:

  • Accounting: 66 percent increase in earnings
  • Management Development and Supervision: 100 percent employed in jobs similar to their field of study
  • Marketing and Distribution: 58 percent increase in earnings
  • Drafting Technology: 73 percent attained regional living wage
  • Licensed Vocational Nursing: 101 percent increase in earnings
  • Geographic Information Systems: 73 percent attained regional living wage
  • Fitness Trainer: 53 percent increase in earnings

“At Rio Hondo College, our career and technical education programs are one of the primary vehicles available to our communities to elevate students to a better life,” Board of Trustees President Madeline Shapiro said. “We are proud of our faculty and program administrators for their dedication to ensuring these students receive such top-notch training.”

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RHC_STARS_1: Rio Hondo College’s registered nursing program has received a Gold Star from the Strong Workforce Stars program for achieving benchmark metrics in three measures: graduates boosted their pay by 192 percent, 77 percent attained the regional living wage and 100 percent are employed in a job similar to their field of study.

RHC_STARS_2: Rio Hondo College Professor John Frala works with student Natalie Dovales-Flores, who will receive an Associate of Science in automotive technology this spring before pursuing a Bachelor of Science in the subject through an innovative four-year degree program at the College. The program received a Silver Star from the Strong Workforce Stars program.

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