POMONA – Pomona Unified has won a preliminary $1.14 million grant from the California Board of Education for the development of its Regional Occupation Programs (ROP) and Career Technical Education (CTE) programs, bolstering opportunities for students to explore such careers as social services, law and public policy, and business management.

The State Board earlier this month approved $245 million in Career Technical Education Incentive Grants (CTEIG) to 265 applicants that integrate academics with career technical and professional training, connect employers with schools and prepare students for jobs in high-demand fields. The CTEIG program is the largest of its kind in the nation.

“This award demonstrates our commitment to offering high-quality education programs in career and technical education that provide students with rigorous and relevant learning opportunities to reach their career goals,” said Board of Education President Adrienne Konigar-Macklin.

Established in the 2015-16 state budget, the program will provide $900 million over the next three years to support and develop 21st century career- and college-readiness programs throughout California. The focus of the grant program is to promote the delivery and sustainability of quality career-readiness programs, which recipients are expected to implement and maintain.

Pomona Unified operates in partnership with San Antonio ROP, which offers courses in business and marketing, health science, hospitality, education, public services, energy and utilities, and the arts. Courses primarily serve high school students ages 16 and older, as well as non-students ages 16 through 22 and adults. Students in the program can earn credit toward graduation requirements, as well as college credit or advanced placement from local community colleges.

The grant funding will be used to enhance existing programs and develop additional pathways sports medicine, social services, law and public policy, health care support, education, media technology, arts, media and entertainment, manufacturing, hospitality, construction trades, information technology, cosmetology, law enforcement, business management, business and finance, retail and transportation (automobile systems diagnostics service and repair).

“Our programs are staffed by skilled teachers and instructors who mold and prepare students for in-demand occupations in the community,” Superintendent Richard Martinez said. “This grant further enables us to position qualified students to meet the needs of our regional and local labor market.”