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More Than 800,000 California Latinos Will be Turned Away From Overcrowded Community Colleges, New Report Finds

LOS ANGELES, May 17, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Demand for vocational and career education is skyrocketing among California's growing Latino population, but the state's overcrowded community colleges will not have room for 840,000 Latino students over a decade, a new study has found.

The demand for a community college education will grow by more than 28 percent among California's Latino population over roughly 10 years, from 2008 to 2019, while demand among the state's white and African American residents will decline, according to the report. The result: Latinos will disproportionately bear the brunt of budget cuts and overcrowded classrooms in the community college system.

The study found that, more than any other group, Latinos will be denied the skills training they need to qualify for high-paying jobs and will lose billions of dollars in personal income. In Los Angeles County and Orange County alone, according to the report, more than 400,000 Latino students will be crowded out of community college classrooms over a decade. Collectively, they will lose almost $9 billion in foregone personal income.

The report, "Left Out, Left Behind: How the Workforce Training Gap Impacts the Latino Population in Los Angeles and Orange Counties," was based on research conducted by Encina Advisors LLC, a Sacramento-based economic consultancy, and was commissioned by Corinthian Colleges Inc., which is based in Santa Ana and is one of the largest post-secondary career education organizations in North America.

"California's economy suffers when we do not make career education and skills training available to every person who can benefit from it," said Steven Lindauer, National Director, Education & Workforce Development, Corinthian Colleges, Inc. "Private career colleges want to work with community colleges around the state to close this 'skills gap.' It's imperative for all Californians, especially Latinos, that we address this problem."

In March, a previous Encina-Corinthian study found that, over a decade, almost 2.5 million Californians will be crowded out of community college programs that lead to career-oriented degrees, diplomas and professional certificates. The resulting loss of professional skills will deny California workers entry into many high-paying jobs and cost them more than $50 billion in lost personal income.

The new report finds that these losses will fall hardest on the state's Latino community. According to the study:

  • For the time period 2008-2019, demand for a community college education among California Latinos will grow by more than 28 percent, while it will decline almost 6 percent among whites and about 5 percent among African Americans. Demand will grow more than 11 percent among Native Americans and almost 10 percent among Asian Americans.
  • For the 2012-2022 time period, about 840,000 Latino students statewide will be unable to attend community college because classroom space is unavailable. This will lead to a loss of $17.8 billion in personal income for Latinos across California.
  • In Los Angeles County, about 378,000 Latinos will be shut out of community college classrooms from 2012-2022. The resulting lack of skills training and loss of professional opportunities will collectively cost them about $8 billion in personal income.
  • In Orange County, about 33,000 Latinos would be turned away from community colleges, leading to $822 million in lost personal income from 2012-2022.

"There's no question that educational and economic losses in the Latino community affect the prosperity of the entire state," said Dr. Justin L. Adams, President and Chief Economist of Encina Advisors. "A large body of evidence documents the economic impact of the Latino community on local and state government budgets. By making career education more available, we would not only promote social equality, but provide economic benefits to every Californian."

"Left Out, Left Behind: How the Workforce Training Gap Impacts the Latino Population in Los Angeles and Orange Counties," was released today at the annual conference of the Mexican American Opportunity Foundation.

"The unemployment rate among Latinos, which always runs higher than the general unemployment rate, was even greater during the recession because of job losses in construction and manufacturing," said Martin Castro, President and CEO of MAOF. "Latinos also lag far behind others in educational attainment and achievement. However, as this report demonstrates, in the years ahead the number of Latinos who desire to enroll in community colleges will exceed other ethnicities. We need to do more. We need to make vocational education and career training more available to the Latino community."

The report recommends that community colleges work closely with private career colleges to provide additional access to career education and to close the state's skills gap. "It is incumbent upon our institutions of higher learning to serve all students, including Latino populations for whom higher education is critically important for social and economic opportunity and advancement," the report said. "If California's community colleges system does not have the capacity to educate students who seek greater employment opportunities, local community colleges campuses should join with private career colleges to develop inclusive plans to meet the needs of all students."

The entire report, "Left Out, Left Behind: How the Workforce Training Gap Impacts the Latino Population in Los Angeles and Orange Counties," is available at no charge at www.mycareercounts.org.

About Corinthian

Corinthian is one of the largest post-secondary education companies in North America. Our mission is to change students' lives. We offer diploma and degree programs that prepare students for careers in demand or for advancement in their chosen fields. Our program areas include health care, business, criminal justice, transportation technology and maintenance, construction trades and information technology. We have 113 Everest, Heald and WyoTech campuses, and also offer degrees online. For more information, go to www.mycareercounts.org or www.cci.edu.

CONTACT: Media: Kent Jenkins VP Public Affairs Communications 202-682-9494

Source:Corinthian Colleges, Inc.