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FREEDOM TO SUCCEED: Governor Newsom Launches New Effort To Prepare Students and Workers for High-Paying Careers

Governor Reduces Barriers for State Jobs Related to College Degrees

New Effort Will Improve Access to High-Paying and Fulfilling Careers

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Governor Newsom today signed an executive order launching a new career education effort to prepare students and adults for the workforce of tomorrow and directing additional steps to reduce employment barriers for state jobs — including college degree requirements unnecessary to job duties. The Governor’s executive order directs the state to align and integrate the implementation of programs supported by billions of dollars in funding to prepare students and workers for high-paying careers.

WEST SACRAMENTO — Joined by the state’s top public education and workforce leaders, today Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order to improve access to high-paying and fulfilling careers for students and workers. As the economy evolves and unmet need grows for various types of skilled labor in the trades, green energy, and healthcare sectors, today’s executive order launches the development of a new Master Plan on Career Education that will adequately prepare students for the workforce of tomorrow that includes high-paying and fulfilling career paths that don’t require college degrees. Additionally, the executive order directs the state to take further steps to reduce barriers to state employment — including college degrees unnecessary to job duties.

WHAT GOVERNOR NEWSOM SAID: “All families, students, and workers deserve the freedom to succeed: to build real-life skills and pursue careers — including those that don’t require college degrees. California is leveraging billions of dollars in investments to prepare students and workers for good-paying, long-lasting, and fulfilling careers.”

“All Californians deserve a path to pursue their dreams and reach their full potential,” said First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom. “By expanding opportunities to garner tangible skills and on-the-job experience critical for employment, we’re empowering students and workers to succeed in whatever career they choose.”

Governor Newsom and the First Partner visit students in a career pathway program

Governor Newsom and the First Partner visit students in a career pathway program


The Governor’s executive order directs state leaders in education, workforce development, and economic development to work collaboratively with leaders of the state’s public education systems and employers — along with legislative partners and stakeholders representing diverse students, parents, education professionals, labor, business, and community groups — to develop a Master Plan on Career Education. The Master Plan on Career Education will guide the state in its efforts to strengthen career pathways, prioritize hands-on learning and real-life skills, and advance universal access and affordability for all Californians through streamlined collaboration and partnership across government and the private sector.

What This Means for Students
California’s Master Plan on Career Education Will:

The state will identify opportunities for alignment and coordination across sectors — both public and private — to ensure more career and skill-building opportunities for students and workers.

All students, beginning at the start of high school, will be encouraged to discover and explore good-paying, fulfilling and long-lasting careers—including those that do and do not require college degrees—and be guided to pathways to those careers.

Students and workers will have multiple opportunities to “learn by doing,” especially via paid earn-and-learn opportunities, and be trained in real-life skills that can be certified and reflected on academic records.

California will reduce the costs of career training and education and simplify access to support — including financial aid, career guidance, and disability services — by streamlining confusing bureaucracies.

Governor Newsom Signs Executive Order

Governor Newsom Signs Executive Order


Today’s executive order also builds on California’s longstanding effort to improve the state’s hiring process. Recognizing that many state jobs do not require four-year college degrees for success in a position, the Governor’s executive order directs the California Human Resources Department (CalHR) to evaluate whether a college degree is needed for a particular position whenever its classification is reviewed. CalHR is currently engaged in outreach efforts to help more Californians access state employment.

HOW WE GOT HERE: California is preparing for shifts in the labor market and investing billions of dollars in career pathways initiatives to address key areas of need — worker shortages in the health and care economy, expanding construction careers to meet gaps, removing barriers to employment for diverse communities, developing the educator workforce, and removing silos and increasing connection between education systems and the workforce.  Governor Newsom’s Family Agenda is transforming public education to prepare students for the future and address this unmet need in the labor market and changes to the economy. As part of the Governor’s efforts to ensure students have the “freedom to succeed,” the state has invested billions of dollars to help students learn real-life career-ready skills.