ConnectOC: Education

Access to quality education and career opportunities is the cornerstone of community prosperity, empowering individuals with the tools to actively lead their path to economic well being. Orange County can be a model for securing our future workforce through middle-skill workforce readiness programs.

Spotlight Issue: Education

Preparing young adults for living wage employment through vocational certification, training and apprenticeship programs is a crucial educational gap to address.

Across Orange County, our community has seen:


increase in middle-skill job opportunities requiring less than a four-year degree, since 2003.


of the highest growing jobs in Orange County require less than a 4 year degree and pay high hourly living wage.

The middle-skills job market in Orange County is projected to grow by 17,678 new jobs that require education beyond a high school diploma, yet less than a four-year college degree.

Engagement Opportunities

You can make a difference!

Support the OCCF Workforce Development Initiative a collaborative effort that funds 17 nonprofits focused on vocational training, economic self-sufficiency, entrepreneurship, and mentorship.

Mark your calendar for OCCF’s The Future is Working Giving Day so you can support efforts to develop a stronger workforce for Orange County!

Learn more about nonprofits in the workforce readiness space through OC Nonprofit Central .

Progress has been made...

In 2022, Orange County had 57.2% of its high school graduates meet UC/CSU eligibility, 14.2% higher than in 2012.

But more remains to be done…

Increasing workforce readiness is just one way to enhance the Orange County education system.

Young Children

A 2020 analysis of the Orange County Child Care Landscape reveals there are only enough licensed slots for 5% of OC’s population of infants and toddlers.

In 2022, 52.5% of children in Orange County were developmentally ready for kindergarten, a 0.6% decrease from 2019 at 52.9%.


Third grade reading proficiency increased from 32% in 2021 to 51% in 2022, but is still lower than 55% in 2017.

Middle/High School

Chronic absenteeism is higher than previous years at every grade level, with 21% of students in 2022 being chronically absent compared to 9% in 2021.

Join Us in Learning More About Our Community

Search OC Nonprofit Central for organizations addressing the causes and issues closest to your heart.

Dig Deeper

Dig deeper into the compelling data surfaced in the areas of health, safety net, and education in OCCF’s ConnectOC data refresh.

Connect With Us
Connect with OCCF team member, Carol Ferguson, to explore ways you can help move the needle on these important issues.