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Workforce Roadmap Cites Actionable Opportunities

April 03, 2018
Career, Development, Job, pathways, Plan, Workforce
Monique Carter
San Bernardino County unveiled a comprehensive Workforce Roadmap designed to identify the greatest areas of opportunity for job creation and workforce development in order to meet the needs of employers, prioritize training investment, and ensure the County remains a leading job creator for the state.

Career pathways, partnerships between schools and employers and job training aimed at targeted industries are key elements of the plan, developed by the county’s Workforce Development Board (WDB) in collaboration with businesses, educational institutions and other stakeholders. The plan was built upon research commissioned by the board that identifies a number of actionable opportunities and growth sectors for the region. 

The study projects employment in the county to increase by 73,000 jobs over the next decade, supported by “a strong mix of businesses poised to expand” during that period and a relatively young population that can be “foundational in bolstering the region’s long-term prospects for economic growth.”

“San Bernardino County is the center of growth and job creation in California. To maintain that momentum and ensure we have the workforce ready to meet the current and future demands of economic expansion we need to understand how best to invest and plan for the future and a new world of work,” said Tony Myrell, WDB Chairman.

The roadmap identifies industries with the greatest growth projections – notably healthcare, logistics, professional, scientific and technical services, and construction – and lays out priorities for the WDB, its staff and partners to take on in order to provide a trained and qualified workforce to meet employer needs now and for the long term:

o   Greater collaboration between businesses and education providers. San Bernardino County already is home to a number of highly-regarded career pathway programs, connecting schools and businesses, and offering hands-on training for students in a wide variety of fields. Expanding these partnerships will help ensure that future workers are meeting the evolving needs of businesses.
 
o   Expansion of sector partnerships. Focusing on partnerships with business that, first, assess the skills needed, and then in turn develop programs to address evolving business needs. San Bernardino County and the WDB are already leading this type of proactive partnership through programs such as the SlingShot Initiative, which engages industry sector leaders and education and training providers in an ongoing effort to improve economic outcomes and income mobility. The model program directs training resources based on employer feedback and regional demand.
 
o   Ensuring that a population that skews younger is prepared to fill the shoes of experienced, older workers who are reaching retirement age. San Bernardino County continues to attract and retain younger adults. At the same time, several key industries – notably manufacturing and healthcare – are being impacted by a “graying workforce.” This loss of job knowledge will be difficult to replace, and will require strategies to attract new workers while encouraging the retention of current ones.
 
o   Automation as an opportunity rather than a threat. The fact that many of San Bernardino County’s key industry sectors are embracing robotics would appear, on the surface, to be a formidable challenge from a workforce perspective. Instead, working closely with those industries can create a unique opportunity to position the county as an automation and innovation hub – creating a demand for highly-specialized workers.
“Preparing future workers with relevant, in-demand skills is a critical element of an ecosystem that is designed to address how we develop the best talent to attract business growth. The partnerships we’ve established, the youth of our population and the county’s quality-of-life factors are all connected. Businesses see that and want to be part of it,” said Reg Javier, the county’s deputy executive officer of Workforce and Economic Development.
 
About the San Bernardino County Workforce Development Board
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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