Assemblymember Presents $1 Million Grant to FCC’s CTE Program


Photo by: Tommy Tribble

Joaquin Arambula awards a one million dollar grant to FCC’s Career and Technical Education program to build a new robotics lab, 9 Oct. 2018.

Joaquin Arambula, 31st district California state assemblymember, presented the Career and Technical Education (CTE) program with a $1 million grant on Oct. 9.

Arambula gave a press conference in the parking lot between the T-buildings before an audience of faculty, students, members of the Electrical Systems Technology (EST) club, and media. Behind him a crane-like robot moved fluidly.

“We’re going to shape tomorrow,” Arambula said. The grant Arambula was instrumental in obtaining, which has been in the works for a year, will build a new robotics lab, including 12 new robots.

“He fought for those dollars,” Carole Goldsmith, FCC president, said, describing Arambula as a hero and a champion who “heard our calls for help and did something about it.”

“Having the legislature listen to us is incredibly refreshing,” Goldsmith said. “Politics matter. And it’s important we have solid legislators.” She added Arambula’s interest in CTE funding began when he visited the FCC campus and saw the programs available.

“It’s going to be more hands-on work,” said Nicky Laurette, vice president of the EST club. “More industrial stuff, and stuff that we’re actually going to be using in the workforce.” A class of 24 will work with each robot in teams of two, according to Laurette.

While the money doesn’t include any staffing funds, equipment and supplies can be improved per the recommendations of the employers and advisory boards, Goldsmith said. She touched on automated mechanics, improvement to electrical systems programs, and welding simulators as focuses for the grant money.

“We’re going to see a hundred students a year who are going to benefit from the workforce development that you see here today,” Arambula said. Arambula, who is a father of three daughters, stressed that the $1 million investment is open to all of the community, “including the women of tomorrow.”

He emphasized the need to train even more community members in tech trades.
“This $1 million investment is not the end,” Arambula said. “These jobs are good jobs. They’re jobs that return benefits, they’re jobs that give you a living wage. They’re an opportunity for our community to thrive.”