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Register your school for Lefty’s Reading Challenge

Schools have though Nov. 3 to register for this year’s Lefty’s Reading Challenge, which encourages students to read books and provides schools with opportunities to win money for their libraries, school-wide pizza parties plus free NASCAR race tickets for staff, students and parents.

Lefty’s Reading Challenge supports the Countywide Vision and its regional goal of partnering with all sectors of the community to support the success of every child from cradle-to-career by promoting and incentivizing literacy, especially the academic indicator of reading at grade level by the third grade.

Since 2009, Lefty’s Reading Challenge has been an enormous success with thousands of students participating. The 2016-2017 program had more than 150,000 students participate in 250 schools.

Lefty’s Reading Challenge is seen by educators as a useful tool to stimulate reading and is in compliance with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) requirements. Students must complete 20 books or reading assignments during the month-long Reading Challenge. Students return a signed registration form and receive a free membership to Lefty’s Kids Club. Based on enrollment, schools with 100% participation will earn prize money for their school library.

Schools must register to participate in the challenge. The program is free to all participating schools.

The 2019 Lefty’s Reading Challenge will take place from Nov. 4 through Nov. 29. Schools can register for Lefty’s Reading Challenge at: http://www.leftysreadingchallenge.com/Drop-Down-Pages/Registration.aspx. For more information on Lefty’s Reading Challenge, visit: http://www.leftysreadingchallenge.com/Drop-Down-Pages/About-LRC.aspx

 

High Desert Training Center Targets In-Demand Skills Training

Phillip Cothran

By Phillip Cothran, San Bernardino County Workforce Development Board Chair 

As we continue to enjoy one of the tightest labor markets in recent history, including a situation where the number of open jobs exceeds the number of people looking for work, we find that many industries in the county, especially manufacturing, are still finding it a challenge to fill open jobs.

A shortage of workers is not just a county challenge, but is a recognized national issue.

According to the 2018 Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute Skills Gap and Future of Work study, as recently as August 2018, there were 508,000 open jobs in U.S. manufacturing, part of the best annual job sector gain in more than 20 years. While the job gains are positive indications that the industry continues to recover from the Great Recession and reflect strong production levels, it also means that finding talent with the right skills to fill the open jobs could reach crisis proportions.

The study further reveals that most manufacturers believe that the No. 1 cause of the skills shortage is “shifting skill set due to the introduction of new advanced technology and automation,” followed by “negative perception of students/their parents toward the manufacturing industry.” Baby boomer retirements complete the top three causes of today’s skills shortages, according to manufacturing executives.

San Bernardino County’s Workforce Development Board (WDB) released its Labor Market Intelligence Report earlier this year and found some of the same issues as it relates to sector growth in key industries for the region: transportation, logistics and manufacturing.

The study noted that in 2017, the transportation sector accounted for around six percent of San Bernardino County employment. Since 2010, employment in transportation has grown by approximately 27 percent, which is in line with the sector’s growth at the state level. However the report further noted that the transportation sector has created more jobs than the locally available talent pool can accommodate. Based on this data, the transportation industry has pulled in more workers from the county resident pool and it has had to go outside the county to fill vacancies, increasing the percentage of county transportation workers who don’t reside in the county.

This trend is also impacting our local manufacturing industry. In 2017, the manufacturing sector accounted for around nine percent of all jobs in both San Bernardino County and the State of California. Although historically declining, manufacturing employment has grown 22.5 percent since 2010 in the county (CA, 6percent and U.S., 8 percent). The industry in the county has been growing at three times the pace of the industry’s growth in the rest of the state. To meet that need, the report found that, from 2012 to2017, the number of manufacturing workers commuting from Los Angeles County to San Bernardino County doubled. In this case, we are importing workers to meet county demand.

The WDB is working proactively to look at ways to both upskill existing talent as well as create a pipeline of workers for our region’s growth industries to ensure they are able to thrive and expand in the county.

A major initiative to help meet this challenge is a new High Desert Training Center at Southern California Logistics Airport (SCLA) in the city of Victorville set to open in early 2020.

Stirling Capital Investments (SCI) and Prologis, Inc. entered into a 10-year agreement with the Victor Valley Community College (VVCC) to donate an existing building at SCLA for a 10-year term. At the new center, VVCC will facilitate hands-on training programs to better prepare the High Desert region’s workforce in the skills identified as in demand by local businesses.

Victor Valley Community College Superintendent-President Daniel Walden, Ph.D, who will be operating the new High Desert Training Center, notes that this is an opportunity to work with local High Desert industries such as avionics, manufacturing, building materials and mining. For all of these industries there are common skillset required when seeking workers.  The High Desert Training Center can provide this basic level of training referred to as mechatronics, a multidisciplinary branch of engineering that focuses on the engineering of both electrical and mechanical systems, and also includes a combination of robotics, electronics, computer, telecommunications, systems, control, and product engineering. These skills sets, along with specialized training, are all part of the offerings at the planned High Desert center. Walden says businesses gain a significant advantage by employing workers who already have an important knowledge base that they can build upon.

The creation of the High Desert Training Center underscores an important part of the workforce solution. For our county to have a strong, skilled and abundant workforce requires an ecosystem in which public and private stakeholders work side by side to develop and train a workforce prepared for career opportunities.

The benefits for all involved are numerous.

For Prologis, this type of community-based partnership is an extension of its commitment to deliver superior customer service to its tenants while strengthening local communities, enhancing regional economies and helping tenants located within its buildings to address labor needs and expand their talent pipelines. Moreover, Prologis and SCI recognize that an added benefit of having this training center housed at SCLA helps support current and future tenants by providing an in-place workforce as well as training for additional skills that could be useful in the advancement of their manufacturing procedures. As an educator, VVCC can now expand its impact by forming more relationships with local employers. These partnerships can also help to convince prospective students that they can find jobs at the end of their studies. The county benefits from the growth of a local training institution that provides more career options for residents through high-quality career and technical education.

Looking ahead, the WDB welcomes the opportunity to celebrate the grand opening of this new training center as well as increasing opportunities to partner with education and the private sector to propel our county economy forward.

County superintendent will “inspire innovation” during State of Education events

San Bernardino County Superintendent Ted Alejandre will deliver his two annual State of Education Addresses this month, where he will

provide updates on the positive developments taking place in our public schools and our Collective Impact efforts as part of the Countywide Vision. The events will also showcase outstanding students and programs from SBCSS and the 33 school districts in our county.

The public is invited to attend both events, which are free. The first will be held on Sept. 19 beginning at 3:30 p.m. at the California Theatre of the Performing Arts, which is located at 562 West 4th St. in San Bernardino. Click here for more information.

The second State Of Education Address will take place on Sept. 25 at the High Desert Church, located at 14545 Hook Blvd. in Victorville. It also will begin at 3:30 p.m. Click here for more information.

The theme of Alejandre’s address is “Inspiring Innovation.” For more information about the events, contact the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools’ Communications office at (909) 386-2413.

Board of Supervisors honors 31 Vision4Safety Heroes

A Chino Girl Scout who saved her friend from choking, a citizen who helped a deputy fight off an armed suspect in Loma Linda and a San Bernardino school principal who made sure the walk to school was safe for students were among 31 Safety Heroes honored today by the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, the District Attorney, the Sheriff’s Department and County Fire.

“Safety Heroes are people who come along side law enforcement and emergency services to serve members of our community and help us keep our county safe,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman. “These selfless and courageous individuals volunteer to serve others on their own time. In doing this, they keep our county strong and ready to face whatever emergency may come our way. It is an honor to recognize them for their efforts.”

Vision4Safety is a campaign of the Countywide Vision to bring people together to create safer neighborhoods, schools and workplaces in San Bernardino County. Last year, the Vision4Safety campaign asked the public to nominate Safety Heroes throughout the county who have made their communities safer by volunteering in emergency preparedness programs, leading neighborhood watch groups or stepping in to save a person’s life.

San Bernardino County District Attorney Jason Anderson, Assistant Sheriff Lana Tomlin and Interim Fire Chief Don Trapp joined the Board of Supervisors in honoring the nominees who reside throughout the county from Barstow to Chino Hills. To read the nomination of each of the 31 Safety Heroes and their contributions to public safety and preparedness, click here.

For safety tips, information about after-school programs and links to safety programs offered by local sheriff, police and fire agencies, visit Vision4Safety.com.

The Countywide Vision was developed by the community in 2010-11 and adopted by the Board of Supervisors and the San Bernardino Council of Governments Board of Directors in June 2011 in order to create a roadmap for the future of San Bernardino County, which includes creating a safe community for all who live, work and play here. Vision4Safety is one of four public campaigns launched by the Countywide Vision Project which also includes Vision2Succeed, Vision2BActive and Vision2Read.

Sign up now to participate in the Colton Joint Unified College and Career Fair on Oct. 2

Applications are now being accepted from business, non-profit and government organizations wanting to participate in the Fourth Annual CJUSD College and Career Fair, to be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 2 at the Gonzales Community Center, 670 Colton Avenue in Colton.

This popular event is a collaborative effort of the Colton Joint Unified School District and City of Colton with sponsorship from the law firm of Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo, Omnitrans, Inland Empire Economic Partnership, and Horace Mann Insurance (Marcos Mata Agency).

Businesses, government organizations, and non-profits are invited to participate by sharing career pathway information with students. This is an informational-only opportunity and no sales of any kind will be allowed. A table and chairs will be provided to all accepted participants at no cost.

The fair has become a popular tradition in Colton, with the district’s first three fairs each drawing more than 3,000 attendees. The College and Career Fair features more than 100 booths representing colleges, universities, technical/trade schools and career pathways. In addition, this event also features workshops on how to pay for college and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  Seniors can even begin or complete their FAFSA application at the fair so that they have a head start in the college planning process. Seniors who attend a FAFSA workshop and complete a survey will be entered in a drawing for a college scholarship offered through Cash for College.

Younger students will enjoy fun, hands-on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) activities, led by students in the district’s College and Career Pathway programs and representatives from our elementary schools.

Booth space very limited, so those interested are encouraged to sign up as soon as possible. To request a spot, please register using this Google form:

http://bit.ly/2019BusinessForm

For more information, please contact CJUSD Communications Specialist Jacquie Paul at 909-580-6502 or Jacquie_Paul@cjusd.net.

Join the 2019 Footsteps to Brilliance Reading Challenge

The second Annual Vision2Read/Footsteps to Brilliance Reading Challenge begins June 1 through September 10, 2019 and families with children ages 0 to 5 can download the Footsteps2Brilliance app for free on Apple or android phones, tablets or computers to get reading this summer!

Register for the Summer Reading Program at www.myf2b.com/register/SanBernardinoCounty and download the app.

Mention the Footsteps2Brilliance Summer Reading Challenge at the upcoming Reading Rally event on September 10, 2019 to receive a free book!

Click here to use the Summer Reading Board and challenge children to color in one star for each day that they play on the Footsteps2Brilliance app and return to a teacher to receive a certificate.

To learn more about the second Annual Vision2Read/Footsteps2Brilliance Reading Challenge, click here.

 

 

SCAG scholarships available for students interested in local government and planning

Each year, the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) offers financial support and professional development to a select number of the region’s high school and community college students.

This year, seven scholarships of $4,000 will be awarded to eligible students across the six-county SCAG region (with up to two additional awards available at the Regional Council’s discretion).

The program is designed to help students develop long-term career goals and awardees will be provided a two-week internship with a local planning agency or council of governments and get the opportunity to meet with elected officials and practicing planners to learn more about careers in public service.

Community college students or high school juniors and seniors who live in the counties of Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino or Ventura are eligible to apply.

The due date for applications in April 26. Please visit www.scag.ca.gov/scholarship for application materials and additional details about the program.​

County improves health ranking for third straight year

For the third straight year, the Health Ranking of the county has markedly improved.

“The well-being of all county residents is a top priority for the Board of Supervisors,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman. “The County Department of Public Health and the partnerships they have created throughout the county are paying dividends and moving us closer to achieving the goal of a having a healthier, more-prosperous community.”

On an annual basis, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, in partnership with the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, develops and distributes County Health Rankings (www.countyhealthrankings.org).  The goal is to build awareness of factors influencing health and empower community leaders working to improve health.

This year’s “Overall Rankings in Health Outcomes” was released to the public on March 19, with San Bernardino County ranking 38 out of 58 California counties.  While recognizing continued need for improvement, the county ranked 41 in 2018 and 46 in 2017, improving eight places over the three-year period ending in 2019.

“This improvement is the result of the collective efforts of our staff and our partners,” said San Bernardino County Health Officer Dr. Maxwell Ohikhuare. “Initiatives such as Community Vital Signs (www.CommunityVitalSigns.org), which bring together critical partnerships invested in the health of the community; the Countywide Vision2BActive (www.Vision2BActive.com), which bring to the forefront the importance of the Countywide Vision and an active lifestyle; and recent accreditation efforts undertaken by dedicated Public Health staff were all crucial elements to this success.”

The department looks forward to continued improvement over the coming years.

Interested individuals seeking further information can contact the Community Outreach and Education Program at (909) 387-6604 or visit http://wp.sbcounty.gov/dph/programs/community-outreach-innovation/.

Find your Vision2Succeed at the county’s largest regional business summit

On Feb. 12, more than 1,000 business, community and government leaders will come together for San Bernardino County’s annual Regional Business Summit and State of the County. For 2019, the event theme “Innovate. Transform. Grow.” recognizes the County’s economic strength, business growth and innovative ideas designed to further transform the region, including the recently launched Vision2Succeed campaign, designed to prepare county residents for the jobs we have and the jobs we want to attract.

The Inland Empire chapter of NAIOP will also hold a real estate industry presentation prior to the State of the County titled “San Bernardino County: The Road Forward.”

For more information, registration and sponsorship information, click here.

Recognized as the largest regional business event in the County, the event will feature a message from Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman along with interviews to include Jason Feifer, editor-in-chief, Entrepreneur magazine along with leaders from the County’s top industries and businesses such as Garner Holt Productions, General Atomic, China Airlines, Federal Express UPS, NUUO, and Lennar Homes.

“The County continues to lead the state and nation in job and population growth. At a time when business and residents are being priced out of coastal markets, we continue to be a quality choice for business expansion and for a quality lifestyle,” Chairman Hagman said. “That’s why I encourage businesses to make plans now to be part of this event. We will share information to encourage business growth as well as provide a forum for valuable engagement with regional leaders. Bottom line, this event is about business expansion and job creation.”

The 2019 Regional Business Summit and State of the County is an excellent opportunity to collaborate with the most influential business owners, presidents, CEO and other decision makers in both the public and private sectors because of the high level of content presented and attendees.

The NAIOP IE panel will begin at 3:30 pm. Registration for State of the County begins at 4:30 pm. The NAIOP panel will be led by moderator Terry Thompson, director of real estate, San Bernardino County with panelists: Bill Heim, principal, Lee & Associates; Doug Jorritsma, senior vice president, Land Advisors; and Val Achtemeier, executive vice president, CBRE and Greg Devereraux, Worthington Partners.

The event will be held at the Citizens Business Bank Arena located at 4000 Ontario Center in Ontario. Sponsorship opportunities for greater business exposure are still available. For more information, visit http://www.sbcountyadvantage.com/About-Us/State-of-the-County.aspx.

Workforce Roadmap shows the county has a Vision2Succeed

San Bernardino County is showing tremendous growth and opportunity, according to research released today as part of the County’s new Workforce Roadmap. The Workforce Road Map identifies current and future needs of the region by using statistical data, labor market information and real-time intelligence.

The research study entitled Labor Market Indicator Report (LMI), conducted by the UC-Riverside Center for Economic Research and Development, showed that San Bernardino County is experiencing an annual net migration of 25,000 people and has added more than 130,000 jobs since 2010 – a 27 percent growth rate. Key employment sectors include logistics, manufacturing – which as increased by 22.5 percent since 2010, and healthcare. The study also calls out the lower cost of home ownership – not just the median home prices. This suggests that San Bernardino County has better opportunities for longer term regional retention than its neighboring counties.

The LMI is the first of three studies that will form a baseline to better understand where the region’s workforce and economic opportunities exist.

Curt Hagman, chairman of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, said that the Roadmap and the recently launched Vision2Succeed Initiative are key to achieving the Countywide Vision, adopted by the Board seven years ago. Vision2Succeed is designed to engage the community in a way that strengthens the skills of our local workforce, prepares them for career opportunities and supports and attracts business.

“San Bernardino County is one of the fastest-growing population and employment centers in the U.S. People are coming here to experience a better quality of life and take advantage of the growing economic opportunities that exist here,” Hagman said. “Vision2Succeed and the Workforce Roadmap are two critical steps in establishing our county as a model for attracting businesses and creating partnerships that support the success of every resident.”

“Members of the Board of Supervisors and I have had the opportunity to see the various County-supported internship and other youth career programs in action, and these are game-changers for our region,” said County Chief Executive Officer Gary McBride. “Preparing our young people for the jobs we hope to attract is key to capitalizing on our current economic growth and achieving the Countywide Vision to ensure a prosperous and healthy future for our residents and investors.”

In addition to offering labor market intelligence, the Workforce Roadmap will provide asset mapping and real-time economic data to help businesses and stakeholders better understand not only what has taken place in our county, but where the county is going. That understanding will help better prepare workers for future opportunities, while ensuring that growing businesses have a pipeline of trained and qualified employees.

The ongoing effort is being led by the County’s Workforce Development Board (WDB) and Economic Development Agency (EDA) in partnership with employers, educators and businesses.

“As a business owner, there’s so much information out there that it can be difficult to know where to turn to. The Workforce Roadmap pulls together critical information businesses need to succeed. It also engages businesses in a way that’s never been done before, with a focus on how, together, we can build a pool of trained and qualified employees that help businesses grow and prosper,” said Tony Myrell, Owner of Premier Medical Transportation Inc. and Chairman of the WDB.

The Workforce Development Board is the County’s Labor Market Data resource. The information presented will be used to develop forward thinking programs that support job creation and business growth.

“The only way to close the skills gap is to become predictive in nature, rather than reacting to changes after they’ve happened,” said Reg Javier, deputy executive officer, Economic and Workforce Development. “Today’s discussion is not the end of the process, but the beginning of a conversation and partnership between workforce, economic development, education and industry to determine what is needed and how to align systems and resources.”

The San Bernardino County Workforce Development Board (WDB) is comprised of private business representatives and public partners appointed by the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors.  The WDB strives to strengthen the skills of the county’s workforce through partnerships with business, education and community-based organizations. The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors is committed to providing County resources, which generate jobs and investment in line with the Countywide Vision.

The Workforce Development Board, through the San Bernardino County Economic Development Agency and Workforce Development Department, offers a variety of programs designed to help youth and adults identify career pathways and get the appropriate training and skills. Programs funded through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) provide eligible youth, ages 16 to 24, access to a variety of career and educational services designed to help enhance job skills, develop leadership qualities, explore career options, participate in adult and peer mentoring opportunities, and take advantage of work experiences. In addition, the WDB operates San Bernardino County’s three America’s Job Centers of California (AJCC). The AJCCs provide individuals with job training, placement and the tools to strengthen their skills to achieve a higher quality of life. The AJCCs also support and provide services to the county’s businesses, including employee recruitment and business retention programs.

Employers and job seekers who are interested in the Workforce Development Board programs may call: (800) 451-JOBS or visit www.sbcounty.gov/workforce. Also follow us on: Facebook www.facebook.com/SBCountyWDB; Twitter @InlandEmpireJob; LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/company/sanbernardinocountywdb; and YouTube  https://www.youtube.com/SBCountyWIB.

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