Three promising partnerships connecting employers and education earn California Economic Summit award

580 200 Ed Coghlan

Student at InTECH training center in Fontana, Calif. (Photo Credit: InTECH)

Three regional public-private partnerships for workforce development will be honored at the 2017 California Economic Summit next month in San Diego. The three winners of the Partnership for Industry and Education (PIE) contest were selected from over two dozen nominees from across California.

“The idea for the contest was inspired by the California Community Colleges Strong Workforce Program which encourages more cooperation between industry and education,” said Leah Grassini Moehle program manager for the California Economic Summit’s workforce effort. “We wanted to highlight the fact that many of these partnerships are already in existence and very productive.”

The winners will discuss their programs onstage at the Summit  as part of a conversation on improving workforce strategies, including partnering with regional employers to better train workers on what those employers need.

The winners are:

Head Start Apprenticeship (Bay Area) – This program builds upon and expands the apprenticeship program for unemployed Head Start parents that was launched by the YMCA of the East Bay in June 2016. It is designed to: 1) Strengthen the existing workforce of early educators; 2) Expand the size and diversity of the Head Start workforce; and 3) Provide unemployed parents with an on-ramp to a career pathway in early care and education. Project partners include the YMCA of the East Bay, the SEIU Early Educator Training Center, SEIU Local 1021, and various regional education partners. 

READ MORE: Preparing an early education workforce for East Bay has innovative head start

InTECH Learning Center (Inland Empire) – A $15 million regional grant coupled with a long-standing successful relationship, gave birth to a public-private partnership between Chaffey College and California Steel Industries to stand up the first center of its kind, the InTECH Learning Center (INTECH) in Fontana. Chaffey College invited 12 regional colleges, the Manufacturers Council and the county workforce agency in both Riverside and San Bernardino Counties to increase the number of well-trained manufacturing craft workers as a strategy to fill both the immediate and future needs of manufacturing employers. The long-term economic impact in the Inland Empire is estimated at $168 million ($8.4 million annually).

READ MORE: Workforce partnership between steel manufacturer, Inland Empire college shows real mettle

Antelope Aircraft Fabrication Training Program (Antelope Valley) – Led by Goodwill Industries of Southern California and joined by local colleges in the Antelope Valley, this partnership is working with Northrop Grumman to provide employment training opportunities for the local population, specifically those with traditionally high barriers of entry. Northrop Grumman was recently awarded a large defense contract, which could create thousands of jobs for the region and the program will address a shortage of technicians meet the demand.

READ MORE: Aerospace giant and community college help fill regional workforce gap

The California Economic Summit has been promoting the need for more integrated and employer-driven workforce training across the state for the past several years.

The winning partnerships in the PIE Contest were chosen for their deep engagement by all partners in the design and desired outcomes, and how the partnership clearly demonstrated all sides “got what they paid for” in achieving the goal of the program.

Strengthening these tactics among all California public-private partnerships will help students to navigate career pathways and enable workers to retrain and upskill at the pace of changing technologies, products, services and markets.

Check out the 2017 Partnership for Industry and Education Booklet to read more about the winning partnerships and all of the nominees


Interested in joining this conversation? Have data to share? Want to share your solution?
Contact and register here to be there at the 2017 California Economic Summit on November 2 and 3.


Ed Coghlan

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