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One year ago today, the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors declared racism a public health crisis and tasked the County Administrative Office with forming an Equity group that would represent the 11th element of the Countywide Vision.
Discussions that led to the declaration and equity group were inspired by the national conversation taking place in the wake of the May 2020 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The group was to be comprised initially of Black community members who could review each element of the Countywide Vision with an equity focus. Eventually, the group will grow to include representatives from other county communities and include an equity focus for all people. The County Administrative Office worked with trusted members of the community to identify organizations well versed in racial equity work.
“The Equity Element Group was formed of influential and prolific members of the Black community who are working together to continue improving our communities,” said Curt Hagman, chairman of the Board of Supervisors. “We are looking forward to the recommendations they will make to help us close gaps in services and opportunities for Black residents and people of color who live and work in our county.”
Members of the Equity Element Group are:
- Hardy Brown – Black Voice News
- Keynasia Buffong – National Black Grads
- Pastor Samuel Casey – Churches Organized for Prophetic Engagement (COPE)
- Willie Ellison – Southern California Black Chamber of Commerce
- George Lamb – Faith Advisory Council for Community Transformation (FACCT)
- Tammy Martin-Ryles – Black Chamber of Commerce
- Tremaine Mitchell – Youth Action Project
- Phyllis K. Morris-Green – Reimagining Our Communities (ROC)
- Bishop Kelvin Simmons – Inland Empire Concerned African American Churches (IECAAC)
- Deborah Smith- Gilbert – IE National Council of Negro Women (IENCNW)
- Terrance Stone – Young Visionaries Youth Leadership Academy
- Bill Thomas – NAACP, High Desert Branch
- Dina Walker – BLU Educational Foundation
- Reggie Webb – Cooperative Economic Empowerment Movement (CEEM) and Westside Action Group (WAG)
- Keith Willis – 100 Black Men of the Inland Empire
- Chache Wright – NAACP
The Equity Element Group is tasked with determining where there may be racial disparities among our residents in the county, if campaigns and programs could be implemented to solve those issues, and identifying what initiatives are already underway within County government or in the county community that can be highlighted and supported.
“As a member of the Equity Group, I am proud to serve in partnership with the County of San Bernardino as we address the issue of racism being a health crisis by allowing opportunities for people of color to become stakeholders in housing, jobs and education,” said Deborah Smith-Gilbert, president of IE National Council of Negro Women. “I look forward to working within our collaborative groups to make change for our families, our communities and ourselves.”
“While June 23, 2020 might’ve been a historic moment for San Bernardino County and community, we refuse to let up and allow this process to become merely ceremonial,” said Pastor Samuel Casey, executive director of Churches Organized for Prophetic Engagement (COPE). “We have an opportunity to create and make lasting change that will live beyond us. We must continue to be bold, courageous, and daring; to not only acknowledge that racial inequities exist, but also do the hard work of remediating the generational trauma that has historically plagued us far too long!”
“San Bernardino County declaring racism a public health crisis and establishing an Equity Group is a step in the right direction,” said Willie Ellison, board member with the Southern California Black Chamber of Commerce and CEO of Sapphire Marketing, Inc. “The group includes a number of talented and serious individuals, so I expect nothing but a positive outcome from their combined efforts. The fight for equality and equity is a process. It won’t be accomplished overnight, but I feel this group will be diligent and steadfast with the work that needs to be done. I am honored to be associated with such an amazing group of people.”
“San Bernardino County’s resolution declaring racism a public health crisis was a bold reflection of a reality that has been too long ignored,” said Reggie Webb, chairman of the Cooperative Economic Empowerment Movement (CEEM) and representative of the Westside Action Group (WAG). “Generations of decisions adversely affecting underrepresented minorities have degraded both their quality of life and upward mobility while at the same time increasing success rates for the majority population. The Equity Element Group, of which I am a proud member, is tasked to offer actionable recommendations that reverse the effects of racism while uplifting all citizens of the County.”
“Our History + Our Culture = Our Values,” said George Lamb, president and CEO of Faith Advisory Council for Community Transformation (FACCT). “Values × Behavior produces Lifestyle. We have to re-engineer our Culture. The TRUST!”
“San Bernardino County’s board resolution is an important first step towards achieving the vision of equity, which requires honesty in how systems have affected vulnerable communities and the courage to dismantle and rebuild these systems,” said Phyllis K. Morris-Green, chair of Reimagining Our Communities (ROC). “Enacting the vision will bring inclusivity and healing as we seek to create a new equitable future for our County residents.”
“I applaud the County of San Bernardino for being the first in the state to declare racism a public health crisis,” said Tremaine Mitchell of Youth Action Project. “The creation of the Equity Group demonstrates the County’s commitment to translating that declaration into actions that will help create communities where all can thrive.”
“This is an amazing opportunity that we as the community can help to shape the future of how racism is addressed, and I’m 100% invested in this process,” said Terrance Stone, CEO of Young Visionaries Youth Leadership Academy.
The group began initial meetings several months ago and discussed various topics such as achieving equity in health, homeownership, jobs and economic development, education, public safety, infrastructure, and civic engagement.
The Equity Element Group recently developed a request for proposal to identify an equity consultant to lead this important work. The equity consultant will work with the County Administrative team, the Equity Element Group, and county, city and community stakeholders to reach the objectives identified in the resolution.
In 2011, the Board of Supervisors and San Bernardino Council of Governments adopted the Countywide Vision, a roadmap for the future of the county with an emphasis on 10 elements, including public safety, education, jobs and the economy, wellness and housing. The Countywide Vision recognizes that each of these elements is interrelated and interdependent.
Element groups working to achieve the Countywide Vision have produced tangible results for the county community. They include the Vision2Read literacy campaign; the Vision2BActive wellness campaign; the Vision4Safety public safety campaign; and the Vision2Succeed campaign created by the jobs and economy element group.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
For more information, please contact CJUSD Communications Specialist Jacquie Paul at 909-580-6502 or Jacquie_Paul@cjusd.net.
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.
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.
“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/.
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.