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Growing California Jobs
EWD Programs Support Businesses
As the U.S. economy continues to show improvement, recent figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that California has led the nation in job creation, adding over 233,000 jobs year over year through November 2011. The businesses creating these new jobs, many of which are in the technology, entertainment, healthcare, international trade, and tourism sectors, seek trained workers who are prepared to meet job requirements. The California Community Colleges Economic and Workforce Development Program (EWD) supports businesses statewide through its comprehensive array of employment training and business assistance programs. EWD preserves jobs and creates new ones by training workers to meet business needs in days, not months. From 2002 to 2009, EWD programs annually assisted an average of 41,000 businesses, 107,000 students and trainees, and placed 4,300 individuals in jobs.
Time Structures, Inc., recently completed an independent analysis of the economic impact derived from EWD programs and found that of 2,244 businesses accessing EWD business assistance programs, each assisted business was able to create an average of 1.4 more jobs compared to similar businesses not receiving this type of help. A total of 3,152 jobs were created, many of which were at smaller businesses-those with fewer than 50 employees and who employ the majority of California workers.
In addition, the study showed that workers who accessed EWD training programs either acquired the skills needed to earn a promotion, or filled open jobs at businesses requiring more highly skilled workers. The training, at an average cost to the state of $589.00 per worker, generated additional tax revenue of $450.00 based on their increased earnings, nearly offsetting the entire cost of the programs.
In this edition of GROW California, we highlight the many ways in which EWD works with business and industry to create jobs in our state. EWD is committed to identifying business requirements and creating programs that help companies access resources and make investments in human capital, resulting in increased profits, expanded productivity, and the ability to compete globally.
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EWD Industry Study
Job Growth in Water/Wastewater Agencies Through 2015
California's demand for water continues to increase as the state's population grows. As such, water and waste management efforts are crucial to not only the health and welfare of Californians but the economic vitality of the state. Industries from agriculture to healthcare are impacted by the distribution and maintenance of clean water.
Water distribution and treatment functions are performed by a variety of water and wastewater agencies or utilities that need qualified professionals to carry out these processes and to maintain water systems and equipment. However, due to a number of factors, including anticipated retirements of incumbent workers and a growing need for services, these professions are projected to experience labor shortages in the near future. According to a recent Center of Excellence study examining seven mission-critical occupations in Southern California, there will be as many as 4,400 new and replacement job opportunities for water and wastewater operators, mechanics, electricians and maintenance technicians over the next three years in this region alone.
The challenges that water and wastewater employers face in the current economic environment demonstrate a need for creative workforce preparation solutions developed in partnership between the industry and community colleges. A variety of training and education options are needed in order to (1) increase the number of qualified applicants entering the workforce and (2) ensure that incumbent workers are proficient and up-to-date in water and wastewater competencies, skills, and technologies.
Among the key workforce and hiring needs are:
- 65% of employers reported difficulty hiring Electronic Maintenance Technicians/Instrument Technicians.
- A majority of employers reported difficulty in hiring Water and Wastewater Treatment Operators.
- Water quality analysts and water conservation specialists are becoming more common in the industry and could create job opportunities for those seeking employment in these industries.
Community colleges are already well positioned to address these employer needs. Twelve colleges in the seven-county Southern California region have developed core competencies in providing water and wastewater education and training. Some of the upcoming challenges include accommodating all interested students in the available classes, as well as developing business and industry partnerships that match hiring organizations with trained and available workers. The complete industry report and related studies may be viewed at www.coeccc.net/water.
Colleges, industry partners, foundations, or workforce organizations that have inquiries or partnership interest in customized labor market research studies should contact Elaine Gaertner, COE Statewide Director, at (408) 288-8611 or email@example.com.
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PG&E Contribution (Gift) Improves Job Opportunities
California Corporate College, a project of the Economic and Workforce Development Program's Training & Development Initiative, recently received a charitable contribution from Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E). Corporate College has delivered training to PG&E employees enabling them to acquire new skills in hybrid vehicle maintenance at eight PG&E locations, and retraining meter readers into new occupational areas, providing them with improved opportunities for employment both inside and external to PG&E. This training was provided in six of PG&E's service areas around the State.
PG&E awarded the charitable contribution in the amount of $36,000 to California Corporate College to enable Corporate College to be able to continue to work with Career Technical Education programs throughout the community college system in order to meet the occupational training needs of incumbent workers in need of upskilling and retraining.
Catherine Swenson, Initiative Director for Training & Development, and Director of the California Corporate College, expressed gratitude to PG&E for recognizing the value of Corporate College as a single point of contact into the community colleges to businesses needing training services in multiple college service areas. Ms. Swenson has been a member of the PG&E PowerPathway advisory team representing the community colleges Economic and Workforce Development Program for the past three years, providing her with insight into the challenges faced by industry when trying to work with multiple community colleges for their training needs. "This funding will help us continue to improve our reach into the colleges and to provide our businesses with the skills they need for their workforce."
For more information, please contact Catherine Swenson, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Job Creation in Alternative Energy
ATTE Programs Help Fuel Expansion for Solar Provider
According to the California Energy Commission, electrical providers in California are required to source 33 percent of the electricity they sell to customers from renewable sources by 2020. This creates multiple opportunities for energy companies such as First Solar, a provider of comprehensive solar energy systems. The company is under contract to construct the Desert Sunlight Solar Farm, which was recently purchased by NextEra Energy Resources and GE Energy Financial Services, and is being built on 3,700 acres of public land about 50 miles east of Indio, CA. This project, one of the first large energy projects in Southern California, is projected to employ up to 400 workers per year, and 630 workers at peak construction, which is not scheduled to end until 2015.
To ensure that desert communities, and indeed the state of California, fully benefit economically from these clean energy projects, the Advanced Transportation Technology & Energy (ATTE) Initiative at College of the Desert has partnered with First Solar and other utility-scale solar energy companies to develop and deliver workforce training for this emerging industry. ATTE is currently providing training in Palm Springs with funding from the EWD initiative, Employment Development Department, and California Energy Commission. Additionally, the ATTE Center has provided support to Palo Verde Community College in Blythe, and Barstow Community College in Barstow, to establish this training in other neighboring communities.
"The three partner colleges are strategically located to train workers for projects in California's key solar resource areas," says ATTE Director at College of the Desert Larry McLaughlin. "We also work closely with the local Workforce Investment Boards to enroll unemployed workers into the program, and with the regional trade unions and their apprenticeship programs, as many projects will be staffed through project labor agreements."
Peter Mayo, a COD ATTE training graduate who is now on the job at Desert Sunlight, puts a high value on the training he received. He was quoted in a recent article in the Desert Sun: "[The ATTE training program] laid the groundwork for what we're doing now. The theory is very important. You can come out here and [just put] posts in the ground, or you can understand you're part of the largest thin-film solar project in the world. That gives you a different outlook on what you're doing."
For more information on establishing business and industry partnerships with ATTE to help fuel expansion at your company, visit http://www.attecolleges.org/ or contact statewide director Peter Davis at (619) 473-0090 or email@example.com.
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The Link Between Summer Internships and Job Opportunities
Research-based Positions Expose Companies to Workforce Talent
The National Institutes of Health awarded $739 million in funding for research projects in FY 2012, a drastic reduction from previous years. Despite the decrease, California continues to garner the lion's share of research funding through the agency, driving a need for trained laboratory personnel across many scientific sectors, including biotechnology, as proposed projects are funded.
The gap between academic learning and real world laboratory experience has grown smaller as the result of a collaborative effort involving the Southern California Biotechnology Center at San Diego Miramar College, Prometheus Therapeutics and Diagnostics, and Life Sciences Association BIOCOM. This program, called the Internship Think Tank, brings together industry leaders to collect and disseminate best practices in internship programs.
Prometheus agreed to be the model test case, during summer 2011. Over a ten-week period, Prometheus researchers mentored five outstanding internship candidates. The program culminated in summer 2011 with the interns presenting the results of their research to an audience of their mentors, Prometheus staff and invited industry guests.
Dr. Sandra Slivka, director of the Southern California Biotechnology Center, explained the purpose of the internship program and her hopes for expanded industry participation in future programs. "Internships are key to the successful transition from school to work," said Slivka. "Without real world experience, students are less competitive in today's job market. Additionally, we want employers to know that we stand ready to meet their needs when they have opportunities to increase laboratory and research staff through newly funded research projects."
Prometheus Senior Business Partner Sheri Davis shared her impressions on the success of the program, saying, "It really was great for the research team to have the opportunity to mentor students who had such enthusiasm about the field. If researchers could have had the interns even one day longer, they definitely would have fought for it."
Plans are in the works to expand industry participation in the future, using 2011's Prometheus' internship program as the model. Prometheus has announced plans to expand their program in 2013 and BIOCOM has announced that an "Internship Program Toolkit" is available for other companies who would like to launch their own internship programs.
For more information on the Biotechnology Initiative and its available industry partnerships, visit www.cccbiotech.org, or contact Jeffrey O'Neal, Statewide Director, at (916) 484-8052 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Growing Jobs in Small Businesses
Support to Expand Product Lines, Increase Customers is Key
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses are playing a central role in the country's recovery, creating two thirds of the new jobs available in the U.S. each year. The President's National Economic Council 2011 report, The Small Business Agenda: Growing America's Small Businesses to Win the Future, highlights the importance of expanding and supporting the growth of entrepreneurs and small businesses across the nation. Additionally, in his paper, "Private Sector Dynamics: The Key to Understanding U.S. Growth", economist Donald W. Walls argues that "expansion startups" - new establishments launched by existing companies in a new geographic location or new line of business - outpaced new startups in job creation by 71 percent.
Supporting small businesses helps California's economy because it aids job retention and keeps independent owners in business. But, in order for small businesses to make an impact in the overall economy, entrepreneurs need support in the form of training, management resources, and/or assistance in identifying areas for expansion, in order to grow their companies. The Business & Entrepreneurship Center (BEC) Program provides training, resources, and inspiration to help Californians succeed as entrepreneurs.
"The BEC focuses our efforts on small businesses that have already started the process, which helps to expedite job creation," shared statewide BEC Program Director Michael Roessler. "Products and services become established in the first few years a business is open. So with existing business owners, the leap of faith has already occurred, and the pain of being a startup is in the past."
The BEC then helps these businesses identify ways to increase revenue, whether through gaining customers, introducing new product lines, or leveraging product success into new markets or channels of distribution. Revenue increases, and in turn, supports the job growth essential to economic recovery.
The BEC Program is committed to supporting businesses and growing jobs through small business training and entrepreneurship education efforts, and is closely partnered with the California Community Colleges to offer a variety of educational opportunities for the entrepreneur, including courses, degrees, certificates, seminars, workshops and small-business development centers.
To learn more about the Business & Entrepreneurship Center Program, visit www.buildcalifornia.org or contact Michael Roessler, statewide BEC director, at (916) 361-2964 or email@example.com.
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Keeping Businesses and Jobs in California
Helping Companies Navigate Regulatory Requirements
California businesses and government agencies often find that they are at odds over environmental health and safety issues. On one hand, government agencies must uphold existing laws through established enforcement systems. On the other, businesses sometimes struggle to comply with legislation and may view the enforcement as a barrier to economic success. This conflict occasionally leads businesses to locate outside of California or the U.S., and leaves government agencies struggling to find solutions or middle ground in its relationship with the private sector.
The Environment, Health, Safety, and Homeland Security (EHS²) Initiative provides leadership and assists in the coordination, operation and delivery efforts of four community college based Environmental Training Centers (ETCs). The ETCs provide affordable and quality training to business and industry in environmental compliance and management, occupational health and safety, homeland security/emergency response, and green technologies.
"By partnering with government regulatory agencies and acting as a liaison for private sector businesses, the ETCs assist with regulatory compliance issues and help ensure that business operations continue to run smoothly while any processes are updated or changed," shared EHS2 Statewide Director Richard Della Valle. "This is especially valuable for small and medium-size businesses, which may not have the financial or technical resources to make necessary changes."
To address this challenge, the ETCs cultivate partnerships with larger corporations who are leaders in working within existing environmental, health, safety, and homeland security laws. These corporations, along with the ETC's regulatory partners, provide assistance to the small and medium size companies that lack the money or expertise to solve their compliance problems independently.
Among the free or low-cost services and training programs provided to these businesses by the ETCs are:
- Environmental Compliance - The ETC's help small to mid-size companies understand rapidly changing environmental regulations and standards and implement necessary changes.
- Training Compliance - Many government partners provide free training services to help companies train their employees and avoid costly OSHA citations.
- Facility Performance - ETC programs and partners provide no-cost training and distribution of free materials on preventing pollution, to help companies design, implement and improve their operations. Any investment spent in pollution prevention will ensure fair return and provide long lasting benefits. In addition, it will maintain a facility that is safe (hence lower insurance costs), compliant and capable of operating for years to come.
- Employee Opportunities - Training received via the ETCs boosts employee retention, encourages professional growth and development, and creates opportunities for pay increases and expanded career paths.
- Best Practices - Many companies who receive low-cost or no-cost assistance identify management best practices that they, in turn, are willing to share with other companies in related industries.
- Community Participation - Success in compliance creates an atmosphere of collaboration, which helps assisted businesses contribute more to their communities and develop valuable partnerships while becoming more pro-active in the environmental, health, safety issues concerning their own company as well as the rest of the world.
Overall, the ETC training programs and services support businesses in creating a workplace environment that aligns the talent needed for profitability and growth in a knowledge-based economy.
For more information on the EMS2 initiative and available training and technical assistance, visit www.envtraining.org or contact Richard Della Valle, Statewide Director, at (925) 672-2209 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Preparing for Jobs in Healthcare
State Certifications Prepare Workers for Growth Occupation
The Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) is one of the only entry-level jobs in nursing care. Nursing homes, hospitals and residential care facilities employ CNAs to provide basic care for patients who are acutely ill, convalescent or elderly. CNAs are in high demand nationwide due to an aging population and increased incidences of disease. In fact, there are more than 3,300 new jobs predicted annually in California through 2018, according to the California Occupational Guides.
Employers require CNAs to be certified by passing a state competency/certification exam upon completion of a required 150 hours of classroom training. Although California Community Colleges offer the training through their Allied Health programs, the certification is handled separately. The Health Workforce Initiative at Golden West College manages the Regional Testing Center (RTC), which coordinates and processes the certification exams for nurse assistants in southern California. The RTC at Golden West College is a self-supporting enterprise with two full-time employees who coordinate certification testing for nurse assistants.
The RTC processes nearly 80 percent of the exams administered in Southern California, a volume that increased dramatically when several Red Cross testing sites closed over the past few years. The volume continues to increase, with the RTC serving over 9,200 candidates and administering 19,047 exams in FY 2010-11, an increase of 2,365 over the previous fiscal year.
"In this growing field, the Health Workforce Initiative enables California health care employers to access a pool of potential hires that meet both educational and state certification requirements, said HWI Center Director at Golden West College Mary O'Connor. "Seventy percent of our newly certified nurse assistants find employment right away,"
To provide testing services at multiple locations, the RTC contracts with independent coordinators in the region to administer certification tests to CNA candidates. "We're proud to partner with the small business community in order to expand our reach," says O'Connor. "In fact, three nurse-entrepreneurs have started their own businesses related to the education and testing of CNA candidates."
For further information on the programs or testing services offered through the Health Workforce Initiative, visit www.ca-hwi.org or contact statewide Director Linda Zorn at (530) 879-9069 or LZorn@cccewd.net
High Growth Jobs in Manufacturing
Partnership with Santa Clarita Worksource Helps Fill Open Manufacturing
According to the California Employment Development Department's Labor Market Information, the demand for Computer-Controlled Machine Tool Operators, or CNC Machinists, is an area of growth within the manufacturing industry, primarily due to an aging workforce. Over 2,100 available jobs are projected statewide through 2018.
The Center for Applied Competitive Technologies (CACT) at College of the Canyons recently partnered with the Santa Clarita WorkSource Center to identify, select and re-train out-of-work individuals with skill sets in demand by the region's manufacturing companies. "The WorkSource Center's business services team is in a unique position to identify regional employers with job openings, but they needed a way to match these openings with qualified employees to help area employers grow their staff," said CACT Director at College of the Canyons Joe Klocko. "Accessing our training resources to bring jobseekers up to speed was a natural fit."
The partnership is focused on identifying individuals who possess high potential for job placement and job success to enter and complete the college's various Job Development Incentive Fund (JDIF) grant-funded training programs. The ultimate goal is the placement and retention of the trainees in new jobs and new career paths where both the individual and their employer companies succeed and prosper.
Potential trainees are carefully screened through a process that includes a workshop, a questionnaire, formal job skills assessments, and multiple interviews. Individuals that perform throughout the screening process are qualified to enter the program. WorkSource then produces a ranked list of qualified candidates and together with the CACT team, selects the class participants, who move on to rigorous technical training, interview skills training, and resume development assistance, all of which prepares them to meet with potential employers at a specialized job fair.
"The small class size, accelerated program pace, and the emphasis on providing training using the actual equipment that employers have on site means that our program graduates meet standards for entry-level positions that would otherwise require two to three years of experience," said Klocko. "The employers have their pick of qualified, trained candidates for jobs that they otherwise might struggle to successfully fill or retain."
For more information on how CACT programs and partnerships can help your business find or retain employees, visit www.MakingItInCalifornia.com or contact statewide CACT Director Jose Anaya at (310) 973-3165 or email@example.com.
Jobs in Interactive Media
Preparing Businesses for the Future
The explosion of interactive and social media applications and the recent emphasis on multimedia marketing can leave businesses struggling to learn and implement these technologies within their own skill limitations and budgets. The Interactive Internet and Mobile Applications for Business (iima4biz) Initiative created several programs to help businesses grow by improving local competitiveness and by training workers to the new media skills required in today's marketplace.
Recently, the iima4biz developed hands-on intensive two-day workshops for small business owners designed to transform their outlook on the internet and its vital link to today's social media consumer. To broaden the reach of the workshops iima4biz used a TV studio and recorded a live workshop over a three-day period. The resulting workshop videos, on-line training tools and discussion boards will be available to all Californians in early 2012.
Because Spanish speaking professionals and business owners comprise 20 percent of California's workforce, iima4biz elected to produce a full-day event in Spanish on the same new media skills as its small business workshop. Two 'Tecnificate' events were held in 2011 at Community College campuses, attracting over 500 Spanish-speaking business owners. Two more are slated for 2012 and will be broadcast live via video streaming, as well as recorded for future on-line viewing.
Finally, in 2011 iima4biz held a specialty workshop for California Assembly and Senate staff on the use of social media in government and posted the edited presentations on the iima4biz website. Hundreds of viewers logged in after the event to view the sessions that they were not able to attend. In 2012, iima4biz will continue to develop cutting edge workshops that contribute to growing local jobs, by increasing the capacity of business owners to use multi-media and interactive tools to help their businesses grow and succeed.
For more information on upcoming iima4biz events, visit www.iima4biz.org, or contact Stephen Wright, Statewide Director at (805) 496-8583 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Building the Leaders that Create Jobs
Summit Prepares Central Valley Business Leaders for Growth
A December 2011 study by the Center for Creative Leadership, "Future Trends in Leadership Development," describes a rapidly changing business environment driven by technological advances, economic challenges, and global interconnectedness. This environment challenges business leaders to become more complex thinkers and develop not only new skills, but to develop new models for leading and growing their organizations.
After identifying local and regional business needs for leadership development due to newly promoted supervisors and management changes/retirements, the Workplace Learning Resource Center (WpLRC) at Merced College hosted a Manager and Supervisor Summit in September 2011. The Summit provided training to 175 business leaders in the Central Valley, many of whom traveled more than 90 miles to take advantage of this outstanding development opportunity.
The Summit offered a series of training programs delivered in a "fast track" format that focused on motivation, coaching, employee performance, communication, conflict resolution, and general management. This format allowed managers to customize their learning experience to meet their specific needs. Attendees had the option to choose three courses from 15 dynamic options including sessions on relevant topics like social media, cultural diversity, technology management, employee engagement, change management, and emotional intelligence.
"The Supervisor Summit was developed as a result of the California Community Colleges in the Central Valley listening to the needs of our business partners, and then being responsive to their number one need-training for managers and supervisors," said Merced College Workplace Learning Resource Center Director Becky Barabé. "This Summit was an amazing success and we definitely hit the target, selling out for the event six weeks in advance. Many businesses thanked us for hearing them and are looking forward to making this an annual event."
To encourage the growth and development of participating businesses, the courses targeted employees with great potential, new supervisors, and experienced supervisors, managers, and business executives. "If you need quality training and a reasonable price, you should work with the Workplace Learning Resource Center," said Human Resource Manager for Quad Graphics Lesley Peeler. "We have, and it has made all the difference."
The Summit demonstrates how the WpLRC's are addressing regional needs through sustainable programs that will have an impact statewide. "By listening to business and industry, our Centers are able to provide innovative solutions that address business needs in a format that works for them," said Statewide Director of WpLRC Bruce Whistler. "We are so pleased with the success of this Summit in the Central Valley, that we are looking to offer similar training events in additional regions of California in 2012."
To learn more about sponsoring or attending the next Manager & Supervisor Summit, contact Bruce Whistler, Statewide Director at email@example.com. More details will also be posted online at www.wplrc.org as events are scheduled.