By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– The Inland Empire is taking bold steps toward seizing a historic economic opportunity by developing a well-trained workforce that meets the needs of businesses and creates promising new career options for employees and job seekers.
A Regional Workforce Development Plan unveiled by San Bernardino and Riverside counties will engage businesses and industry in identifying high-quality jobs and designing training programs to prepare a competitive labor force. The regional program is in addition to local plans developed for each of the two counties to encourage business growth by helping employers find qualified workers. The development and execution of these plans are mandated by state and national workforce regulations for local areas funded by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.
“San Bernardino County and the Inland Empire have an extraordinary economic opportunity in front of us. Our region will be a leader in driving job creation across Southern California, and our regional workforce plan will ensure that we take full advantage of that,” said Robert Lovingood, Chairman of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors.
The Inland Empire has created nearly 240,000 jobs during the past five years and is now nearly 100,000 jobs ahead of where it was during its pre-recession high, driven by growth in industries such as healthcare and logistics. With nearly 4.5 million people, the Inland Empire is among the largest – and fastest growing – population centers in the state and a sought-after location for companies looking to expand.
The regional and local workforce plans were developed by the Workforce Development Boards (WDBs) of the two counties, with input from partners, customers and key stakeholders representing business, education, labor, economic development and community-based organizations.
Reg Javier, San Bernardino County’s Deputy Executive Officer for Workforce and Economic Development, said the plans align with the San Bernardino County WDB’s commitment to transforming lives and supporting business growth.
“This supports a strong, vibrant economy and will allow us – as a county and a region – to take advantage of a growth opportunity others would covet,” Javier said. “It starts by listening to our businesses and building an employment pipeline that meets their needs.”
Highlights of the plans include:
- Ensuring that services address barriers to employment and promote educational attainment to create the pathways from dependency to prosperity.
- Expansion of partnership with businesses, educational institutions and community-based organizations.
- Development of innovative customer-centered approaches that will prepare residents for middle-skilled jobs or higher, ensuring economic security for individuals and their families. An example of this is the SlingShot Initiative, an industry sector strategy for healthcare and manufacturing that solicits input on employer needs and aligns career pathways around those needs.
- Access to secondary and post-secondary education through partnerships school districts, community colleges and universities. The public education system has established expertise in workforce development and is a prime provider for training in career pathways.
- Stronger alignment of workforce development and economic development.
- Greater emphasis on entrepreneurial and microenterprise training through partnership organizations.
- Development of pre-apprenticeships and apprenticeships that also offer Earn and Learn opportunities in targeted industries and occupations.
“The prospects for our region have never been more exciting,” Javier said. “Businesses want to come to San Bernardino County and the Inland Empire. The programs and partnerships we have in place will ensure that employers are able to hire, develop and retain a competitive workforce and that residents have the skills, training and education to achieve their career goals.”
Copies of the Regional Workforce Development Plan and the San Bernardino County Workforce Development Plan for the period covering July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2020 are available for public review at:http://cms.sbcounty.gov/Portals/12/Draft%20WIOA%20Program%20Year%202017-2020%20San%20Bernardino%20County%20Local%20Plan.pdf?ver=2017-01-26-161814-937
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, operates the 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.csb-win.org. Also follow us on: Facebook www.facebook.com/SBCountyWDB; Twitter @InlandEmpireJob; YouTube http://www.youtube.com/SBCountyWIB; and LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/company/sanbernardinocountywdb.