Bakersfield College’s nursing and healthcare programs will receive a huge funding increase thanks to Assemblymember Rudy Salas’ advocating at recent budget negotiations.
On July 28 Assemblymember Salas announced that he was able to secure $6 million which will go directly into BC’s workforce training programs. Bakersfield College will use the direct $6 million investment for the following programs:
- Expanding the Rural Health Equity and Learning collaborative.
- Expanding the certified nursing assistant and registered nurse programs.
- Providing nursing scholarships for students who volunteered to serve in vaccination clinics.
- Expanding the Allied Health Simulation Laboratory.
- Expanding the radiology technology mammography and sonography programs.
- Adding the Mental Health Worker Certificate.
- Adding post-pandemic student health and wellness services.
- Providing educational services to prevent chronic illness among at-risk rural residents.
“I am happy to champion more money coming to Bakersfield College,” Assemblymember Salas stated in a press release. “This additional $6 million will help train more nurses and health professionals for the Valley so that our local families will have greater health access and options.”
The $6 million investment was included in Assembly Bill (AB) 132, the higher education budget bill, which was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom. This funding is in addition to the $44,442,000 that Assemblymember Salas secured for a range of Central Valley projects and educational investments this year. Additionally, AB 132 provides an unprecedented $47.1 billion investment in college affordability and access including:
- $115 million for Zero-Textbook-Cost Degree grant programs and open educational resources at community colleges to help address the rising costs of textbooks.
- $100 million to create Basic Needs Centers to help homeless and food insecure students with accessing resources and enrolling in CalFresh.
- $100 million for community colleges to increase student retention rates and enrollment.
- $2 billion to address housing and space needs at the UC, CSU and community colleges.
- Provides $20 million for CCCs to establish and expand High Road Training Partnerships and High Road Construction Careers workforce development programs.
- Provides $6,000 per student in non-tuition support for Cal Grant students who are former foster youth.
- Expands the California Kids Investment and Development Savings Program to provide $500 base deposits to for college savings accounts for public school students from low-income families, English learners and foster youth.
- Establishes the Learning-Aligned Employment program to help underrepresented students with financial need gain relevant work experience, promoting long-term employment opportunities.
- Establishes the Golden State Education and Training Grant Program to provide grants for education or high-quality training for workers displaced by the pandemic.
- Authorizes community colleges to use federal emergency relief funds to waive student fees for students who have unpaid fees due to impacts of COVID-19.
“I continue to advocate for increased investment in our educational system, especially for Bakersfield College, which has such a positive impact on our community,” Assemblymember Salas said when asked what motivated him to advocate for these funds. “The $6 million for expanding and implementing workforce training programs related to nursing and healthcare was so important because the Central Valley needs more health professionals to help families gain greater access to quality healthcare. Seeing the success of our local students and the creation of meaningful career pathways is always a motivator for me to keep fighting for this funding so we can continue to expand these important programs.”
For more information about healthcare and nursing programs offered at BC, visit their homepage at https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu.