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County of San Bernardino

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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.

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.

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/.

Board of Supervisors endorses Vision2Succeed Initiative

The Board of Supervisors today endorsed Vision2Succeed, a new campaign designed to strengthen the career skills of our local workforce by connecting county residents to opportunities that enhance their qualifications to support existing employers and attract new employers to San Bernardino County.

“A skilled workforce encourages a vibrant economy, and that is why we support Vision2Succeed,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Robert Lovingood. “I encourage our community to get involved in learning experiences and programs that help to propel career growth and lifelong learning. Across the county we have a strong system of schools, colleges and universities as well as training and job resource centers that benefit residents and employers alike.”

A dynamic economy benefits all San Bernardino County residents. The Vision2Succeed.org website is a resource, providing residents with information about career exploration ideas, programs and events focused on workforce and skills development, as well as sharing opportunities to explore and participate in career options such as mentorships, internships and apprenticeships.

“Mentoring programs are a promising approach to enriching the lives of young people, addressing their need for positive adult role models, and providing one-on-one support and advocacy. Through a mentoring relationship, adult volunteers and participating youth make a significant commitment of time and energy to develop relationships devoted to personal, academic, and career development,” said Kathy Turnbull, Network Officer for Children’s Network.

The Board of Supervisors is asking all San Bernardino County residents and businesses to get involved in the launch of Vision2Succeed by posting career-building information on social media. For example, information or personal experiences about becoming a mentor, expanding a business, pursuing a new career or even changing careers. The board is also asking everyone to use the hashtags #Vision2Succeed and #myfirstjob on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

As one of the fastest growing population and employment centers in the nation, San Bernardino County is uniquely positioned to help its residents receive the skills they need to prosper in the 21st century economy. According to research conducted for the San Bernardino County Workforce Development Board, the county’s economy is supported by a strong mix of businesses poised to expand over the next decade, with employment expected to grow by 73,097 jobs during that period. This continues a trend of San Bernardino County and the Inland Empire outpacing California and the nation in employment since the first quarter of 2013. In addition, the county has a relatively young population, foundational to bolstering the region’s long term prospects for economic growth.

Fully maximizing that potential requires an ecosystem in which stakeholders work side by side to develop and train a workforce prepared for career opportunities, particularly in high-growth industries. The Countywide Vision project will highlight school districts, colleges and employers, who have implemented comprehensive strategies to meet the employment needs of local business and encouraged development of career pathways for youth.

On Jan.17, the County will release its labor market intelligence report as part of its Workforce Roadmap presentation to the community. This presentation, a Vision2Succeed kickoff event, will help identify the county’s greatest areas of opportunity for job creation and workforce development, prioritize training investment, and support workforce development systems, ensuring our county remains a leading job creator for California.

In June 2011 the Board of Supervisors and the San Bernardino Council of Governments adopted the Countywide Vision in partnership with the community.  The Countywide Vision provides a roadmap for the future of San Bernardino County, including the creation of a healthy and prosperous future for all who live, work and play here. Vision2Succeed is the fourth public campaign of the Countywide Vision Project following the successful Vision4Safety initiative, the Vision2BActive physical activity initiative and the Vision2Read literacy initiative.

Nominate a Safety Hero

Do you know someone who has made an impact on safety and emergency preparedness in their neighborhoods, schools or businesses? If so, consider nominating them as a Safety Hero as part of the Vision4Safety campaign.

A Safety Hero can be a person who has started a neighborhood watch group; a teacher who encourages participation in safe afterschool programs; a business person who encourages employees to learn CPR or other lifesaving techniques in case of an emergency; a child who practices an emergency preparedness plan with their family; or a person who helped law enforcement with a tip that led to an arrest or prevented someone from getting hurt.

Nominate a Safety Hero at Vision4Safety.com or contact Leticia Prieto from San Bernardino County Fire at (909) 918-2231 or lprieto@sbcfire.org. Anonymous nominations of Safety Heroes will also be accepted. Nominations are being accepted until May 31, 2019.

Vision4Safety is a campaign of the Countywide Vision to improve public safety and preparedness in San Bernardino County by encouraging residents to help create safer neighborhoods, schools and workplaces. Vision4Safety.com is an interactive resource that provides residents with professional safety tips from law enforcement and fire agencies throughout the county as well as volunteer opportunities to promote neighborhood preparedness.

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 to create a roadmap for the future of San Bernardino County, which includes creating a healthy and prosperous future for all who live, work and play here. Vision4Safety is the third public campaign of the Countywide Vision Project following the successful Vision2Read literacy initiative that started in September 2015 and the Vision2BActive wellness campaign that began in January 2017.

Summer Reading Program participation increases 11 percent

Libraries countywide increased the number of children and adults participating in summer reading programs by 11 percent from 2017 to 2018.

In May, libraries throughout San Bernardino County encouraged people to sign up for library cards and join summer reading programs to help avoid a loss of reading skills that can occur during breaks in the academic school year. During the summer months, libraries offered reading programs that included incentives for meeting reading challenges.

Countywide, 55,327 people participated at all 32 San Bernardino County library branches and the libraries in the cities of Redlands, Colton, Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga,  San Bernardino, Upland and Victorville up from 49,821 participants in 2017. The numbers exceed the 50,000 proposed goal set by the Vision2Read literacy campaign.

Vision2Read, a literacy initiative of the Countywide Vision project, aims to raise the bar on literacy in our county by focusing on the importance of reading and connecting people who need help or who can help to literacy resources. Literacy has an impact on a number of elements in our community such as jobs and the economy, education, public safety and wellness. When literacy skills are nurtured and encouraged, children and adults can reach the their potential, the local economy can continue to prosper and the county will have a more educated work force to attract employers to our region.

Visit Vision2Read.com for additional information about the campaign, literacy resources and a listing of all libraries countywide.

San Bernardino County Libraries host Baker’s Book Club

Join the San Bernardino County Library System, San Bernardino City Libraries, Colton City Library, Upland City Library, and the Redlands A.K. Smiley Library as we partner with Baker’s Drive-Thru to promote reading among children and teens throughout San Bernardino County. The Baker’s Book Club program is underway through Saturday, Nov. 17. This program encourages students to read in all communities across the county.

To participate in this program, visit any of the 32 San Bernardino County Branch Libraries, San Bernardino City Branch Libraries, Colton City Library, Upland City Library, or Redlands A.K. Smiley Library to sign up. Participants must be between the ages of 4 and 17, and a parent or guardian will need to sign to acknowledge reading accomplishments. A voucher for a free Baker’s food item will be issued as reading goals are met. Each child and teen may earn a total of three awards and vouchers for the duration of the program.

In support of the Countywide Vision’s Vision2Read literacy campaign, this program will help to improve literacy among children ages 4 to 17, with the help of incentives, by inspiring an excitement to read, providing achievement goals,  and encouraging a reading routine.

The San Bernardino County Library System is a dynamic network of 32 branch libraries that serve a diverse population over a vast geographic area. The County library system strives to provide equal access to information, technology, programs, and services for all people who call San Bernardino County home.

The library plays a key role in the achievement of the Countywide Vision, by contributing to educational, cultural, and historical development of our County community.

For more information on the San Bernardino County Library system, please visit http://www.sbclib.org/ or call (909) 387-2220.

‘Help Us Soar’ at County Libraries

The San Bernardino County Library invites residents to ‘Help Us Soar’ as librarians strive to meet the goal of checking out six million items during this fiscal year.

The San Bernardino County Library system has increased circulation to over five and a half million items in the previous years, and now wants to meet a new milestone of circulating six million items by June 30. The Library’s 650,000 card holders are encouraged to ‘Help Us Soar’ in the following ways:

  • Sign up for a library card during Library Card Sign Up Month. In September, new library card owners will get a limited edition Disney Incredibles sticker while supplies last. Sign up for a traditional library card online or in person at a local County library, or sign up for an eContent card online.
  • Obtain a traditional library card. A library card issued in person from a branch gives the owner access to physical materials, such as books, DVDs, CDs, and magazines at all 32 branch libraries, as well as access to branch public computers and printers. Traditional library card holders will also have access to all electronic resources available to eContent card holders.
  • Get an eContent card on the County Library website www.sbclib.org. The eContent card acquired from the County Library website gives the owner access to electronic materials such as eBooks, audiobooks, music, and digital magazines. This is a great option for residents of California who are unable to visit a physical library location.
  • Download digital resources such as OverDrive and Cloud Library for eBooks and audiobooks, Freegal music, and digital magazines.

The ‘Help Us Soar’ campaign is another opportunity to celebrate and support the Countywide Vision’s literacy campaign, Vision2Read.  Reading at grade level by the third grade is one of the greatest predictors of children’s success in school, their likelihood of going to college, and their future earning potential. The San Bernardino County Library system facilitates programs and events at all branch libraries to encourage children to check out books to read.

The San Bernardino County Library System is a dynamic network of 32 branch libraries that serves a diverse population over a vast geographic area. The County library system strives to provide equal access to information, technology, programs, and services for all people who call San Bernardino County home.

The library plays a key role in the achievement of the Countywide Vision by contributing to educational, cultural, and historical development of our County community.

For more information on the San Bernardino County library system, please visit http://www.sbclib.org/ or call (909) 387-2220.

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