Salas Delivers $6 Million to Bakersfield College for Nursing & Healthcare Access

Funding secured in the state budget will be used to expand programs & train more healthcare professionals


BAKERSFIELD, CA – Assemblymember Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) joined Bakersfield College (BC) faculty, students, and local education leaders to award the school with $6 million in direct investment to expand and implement workforce-training programs related to nursing and healthcare. This funding was secured by Assemblymember Salas in the 2021-2022 state budget, in addition to $50 million for projects throughout the Central Valley.

“This investment is how we make a difference in our community by improving education, nurses, health access, workforce training, and the creation of good-paying jobs that will uplift our students,” said Assemblymember Rudy Salas. “I am proud of Bakersfield College for expanding its reach in the rural areas, meeting students where they are, and growing programs that will provide not only a boost for our local economy, but also professional careers for families right here in Kern County.”

According to a 2018 study by the Health force Center at UCSF, the demand for registered nurses (RNs) is expected to increase in the San Joaquin Valley by more than 35 percent by 2030, however, the region’s total number of RN’s will decline.

“Assemblymember Rudy Salas makes things happen, and his work embodies keeping the #ValleyStrong moto. Through his tremendous support, he has secured over $22 million dollars for Bakersfield College, giving more students access to higher education and the support services to be successful,” said Dr. Sonya Christian, Chancellor of the Kern Community College District. “As a public servant with a heart for education, Assembly member Salas has a proven track record of caring about students and their futures. He knows that higher education is a proven pathway, not only to greater opportunity and upward mobility, but also towards financial stability, community wellness, and a stronger economy.”

The educational institutions in Bakersfield – namely, Bakersfield College and California State University Bakersfield (CSUB) – have successful programs and dedicated educators perfectly positioned to address the health care workforce shortage that the Central Valley is currently experiencing.

Assemblymember Salas was joined by Chancellor Sonya Christian of the Kern Community College District,

Trustee Nan Gomez-Heitzberg, Carla Gard, Dean for the Instruction of the Nursing/Allied Health program at BC, and Scott Thygerson, CEO Kern Medical Center.