Fresno State named one of the 100 best schools in the country

Workers need more training to succeed in “gig” economy. In Stockton and Richmond, they’ll get it.

July 12, 2018 01:00 PM

Updated July 12, 2018 01:00 PM

Employers needed in Kings County for subsidized workers

CVBT

July 11, 2018

• Program takes care of workers comp and other expenses
• “The participants that have been sent my way want to work and are willing to learn”

Public and non-profit agencies in Kings County that need more workers but don’t have the money might be able to get help
from a subsidized workforce of individuals who have been affected by recent natural disasters.

The program is also open to private firms that have positions available that are specifically for clean-up and repair of a public
or private non-profit facility. It’s being managed by Proteus Inc., a Hanford-based private non-profit community-based organization has received
$185,868 in funding for it from La Cooperativa de Campesina .

Currently, Proteus is partnering with the city of Hanford’s public works department and has placed 20 workers within the
department. “Having the extra help to address work duties is helpful beyond words,” says Tim Breashers, parks and grounds superintendent
with Kings County Public Works. “The participants that have been sent my way want to work and are willing to learn.”

Proteus will handle payroll functions and cover workers compensation costs. Prevailing wages are paid to all participants. Other agencies participating in the program include Kings County public works, Corcoran public works, and Lemoore public works.

“I would like to emphasize that Proteus recruits the participants, handles all the paperwork and payroll functions,” says Araceli
Ochoa of Proteus. “This is a fantastic opportunity to assist individuals to connect with work and at the same time help
improve our local communities. All the worksites are required to be in Kings County.”

Low-income individuals who live in Kings County and who are temporarily or permanently laid off work as a consequence of a
natural disaster are eligible as are self-employed individuals who became unemployed or significantly underemployed as a
result of the disaster.

Kings County has been recognized as an area that is at risk for a flood post drought. This program is designed to provide
temporary employment for those residents who have been unemployed due to the disaster or long-term unemployed as a
result of previous disasters, as well as provide relief for local organizations to assist in clean-up and/or repair of the site, a
Proteus spokesman explains in an email to CVBT.

Each worker will have a worksite agreement for up to six months or $14,000, whichever comes first, he adds. The program is set to end September 30, “however Proteus is hopeful for an extension.” Additional worksites are needed in order to achieve program goals and help local residents. For more information contact
Petra Solano at (559) 582-9253.

http://files.constantcontact.com/2cb20f61601/7b013146-866d-4dfa-b9be-e63b09dfa4c6.pdf

CVCF LAUNCHES $1-MILLION INVESTMENT

Published On July 3, 2018 – 11:54 AM
Written By The Business Journal Staff
Applications are now open for the Central Valley Communities Organized for Resident Empowerment (CORE) Initiative, a $1-million investment program aimed at providing financial support and leadership development to strengthen nonprofit organizations and community enterprises that are improving the ability of working residents to make positive changes in impoverished neighborhoods.

Through the CORE Initiative, the Central Valley Community Foundation (CVCF) hopes to provide technical assistance and financial support to organizations and leaders who are rooted in local neighborhoods, have a minimum track record of service in targeted neighborhoods, have established trust among residents and reflect the diversity of Fresno’s neighborhoods.

The James Irvine Foundation provided the grant to CVCF to make the CORE Initiative possible.

“We are grateful for our partnership with the Central Valley Community Foundation, which understands the critical role nonprofit organizations play to engage and empower residents,” said Don Howard, president and CEO for The James Irvine Foundation. “And we are proud to support Fresnans working to transform their communities.”

Ashley Swearengin, CEO and president for the CVCF, said the CORE Initiative will support small and emerging nonprofits with the potential to grow and impact their communities. Selected applicants will receive a grant ranging from $25,000 to $100,000, receive leadership development and training, work with CORE Participants and participate in a filmmaking project documenting the efforts of organizations and people improving distressed neighborhoods in Fresno.

Applications, guidelines, and the Request for Proposals can be found at www.centralvalleycf.org/COREand are due no later than 3:00 p.m., on Aug. 31. CVCF is offering information sessions for interested applicants. The first will be held on Friday at Wesley United Methodist Church, 1343 E. Barstow Ave., at 10 a.m.

https://thebusinessjournal.com/cvcf-launches-1-million-investment/

Valley employers need mechanics; people need jobs. How this program serves both

BY KEN CARLSON

June 19, 2018 03:26 PM

Opportunity Stanislaus and its industry partners created the VOLT Institute for adults like Gustavo Amezcua of Oakdale.

Amezcua, 27, worked as an operator for Rizo Lopez Foods before the company gave him the chance to become a maintenance mechanic at the McClure Road cheese-making plant.

It’s a prime opportunity for Amezcua to earn a larger income for supporting his young family. On average, industrial maintenance mechanics earn $27.80 an hour in Stanislaus County.

Local industries struggle to find qualified maintenance mechanics and the demand for those blue-collar jobs is forecast to increase 15 percent over the next six years.

Amezcua is among 30 students in the first graduating class at the VOLT Institute, launched in October by Opportunity Stanislaus, industry partners like Pacific Southwest Container and E&J Gallo Winery, and the Stanislaus County Office of Education.

In 2016, SCOE offered space for the trade school in the former Modesto Bee building, at 13th and H streets, which was purchased by SCOE for expanding its services.

Dave White, chief executive officer of the business development agency, Opportunity Stanislaus, said there are 200 unfilled positions for maintenance mechanics in the county. With economic growth, those workers are in short supply as veteran mechanics retire and fewer high school students are trained for vocations.

As the VOLT Institute is further developed, it’s also expected to provide training in electrical systems and maintenance of automated production equipment. The program is supported by major employers in the county that face a critical need for skilled mechanics to maintain equipment and keep production lines running.

“The typical students in our program are in their 30s and looking for a better job,” White said. “There are a lot of people who have a job, but it’s not a good job, not a living wage and the chances of going to college has passed them by.”

Of the 40 students who enrolled in the VOLT Institute last fall, three quarters were in the 18 to 35 age group. Some were “incumbents” or employees of local companies that want them to upgrade their skills; others were young adults with lower-wage jobs, jobless people referred by county Workforce Development, and SCOE adult education graduates.

The group included a teacher looking for a career change.

Though a high school diploma is a minimum requirement for the VOLT institute, 52 percent of the students had attended some college and 9 percent were college graduates.

Deborah Rowe, director of career training programs for SCOE, said last week that 10 students dropped out for personal reasons or discovered the mechanics’ vocation was not for them. Twenty-six of the students set for a graduation ceremony June 27 are employed and the other four are actively seeking jobs, Rowe said.

Ron Losinski, master instructor at VOLT, said he’s well aware of the need for mechanics and other technical positions at manufacturing plants in the Northern San Joaquin Valley. When he was a maintenance manager for a plant in Lathrop, he said, it was impossible to hire qualified people off the streets.

He said plant closures were an opportunity to snatch up skilled workers and some employees were trained in an apprenticeship program at Modesto Junior College.

At the VOLT Institute, trainees first take a three-week course (12 hours a week) to learn the soft skills of working in the manufacturing environment, including ethics, communication, resolving conflicts, decision making and public speaking.

They advance to mechanical courses offered in the morning, afternoon or evening, where they learn the basics of machine tools, mechanical drives, pumps, pneumatic and hydraulic systems, metal working, torching techniques and mechanical circuitry.

The students can complete the vocational training and be job-ready in eight months.

Students in an afternoon class last week spent an hour on computers absorbing concepts, followed by an hour or two of hands-on learning at training equipment stations.

“Quite a few of our students have no mechanical experience,” Rowe said. “We try to team them up with incumbents who have mechanical skills.”

Cameron Jones and a Crystal Creamery employee were tested at one station on regulating the actuating speeds of a mechanical system. Jones has been working for a shoe business at Vintage Faire Mall and heard about the Volt Institute from a friend, he said.

“I like some of their shoes but don’t get enough hours to buy them,” said Jones, who is close to completing the training and is applying for jobs.

Dan Martin, director of facility services at Doctors Medical Center in Modesto, said he’s hired two students from VOLT’s inaugural class to maintain motors and pumps in the hospital, wire lights and handle repairs.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for the community because we have such a decline in individuals that have the proper skills for doing maintenance-type work,” said Martin, who’s on the advisory board for VOLT. “We will interview and interview many times just to get a few people who are qualified.”

Martin said the new hires will start at entry level pay for mechanical positions and soon jump to higher levels when they learn the health care side of the business.

As for VOLT’s minimum requirements, the new students must be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma and complete the WorkKeys Assessment that measures skills for success in the workplace. Trainees must have the reading skills to understand manuals.

Tuition for the maintenance mechanic program is $2,500 per quarter or a total of $7,500. Companies sending employees through the training program may cover all or part of the cost. Self-pay students may be eligible for loans or scholarships and assistance may be available for students coming from adult education or the county workforce development program.

The VOLT Institute was launched with a $700,000 investment from private sources. Rowe said the funding that SCOE receives for the program requires six-month and 12-month reviews on how the graduates perform.

Rowe said the former Bee building is taking shape as a career center also offering training in construction, health care and other industries.

When she was principal of Enochs High School, Rowe said, 45 percent of the 550 students in a graduating class would attend college and not all of them would finish with a four-year degree. The military was always an option, but a large number of graduates were faced with earning a living wage without a college degree.

“I want to work for those who are not going to college and not going to the military,” Rowe said. “College is great but we are leaving a lot of folks behind.”

Those interested in training at the VOLT Institute may call 209-566-9102 or send an email to info@voltinstitute.com. For more information on programs, visit http://opportunitystanislaus.com/VOLTInstitute.

http://www.modbee.com/news/business/employment-news/article213140454.html

Businesses Can Help California Schools Train Students for ‘New Collar’ Jobs

 

 

By Jennifer Ryan Crozier and Loren Kaye

Jennifer Ryan Crozier is president of the IBM Foundation. Loren Kaye is president of the California Foundation for Commerce and Education, a think tank affiliated with CalChamber.

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018

The key to California’s long-term economic growth can be found in the classroom.

Job growth in California has been robust since the last recession. But recently that growth has slowed because of the lack of employable workers. The projected shortage of skilled workers in the state through 2030 is more than a million graduates with bachelor’s degrees as well as hundreds of thousands of workers with two-year associate’s degrees and certificates. Only 39 percent of the state’s workers are trained to the “middle-skill” level, according to an analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics.

Filling that talent pipeline will be a challenge unless we can better prepare students for 21st century jobs.

A promising public-private partnership is taking shape in the Legislature that focuses on high school and college completion, along with meaningful workplace experiences. State Sen. Anthony Portantino is sponsoring legislation to create the California State Pathways in Technology. If successful, this legislation would provide state funding for a proven educational program already delivering results in 90 schools in seven states.

P-Tech schools would address the educational achievement challenge in California through an innovative model for grades nine through 14 that encompasses high school, college and industry. In addition to their high school diplomas, P-Tech students earn a two-year associates degree at no cost and develop the workplace skills necessary for employment in the 21st century “new collar” workforce.

This is critical, given that the U.S. economy will create 16 million “new collar” jobs by 2024, according to the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. These positions require some post-secondary education and mid-level technology skills, though not necessarily a four-year college degree. Among all states, California has experienced some of the largest increases in the number of good, well-paying jobs that don’t require four-year degrees.

According to the just-released report card from the National Center for Education Statistics, the math skills of California’s eighth-grade students lag those in 33 other states, and just 10 to 15 percent of our African American and Latino students are proficient in math, significantly trailing their white and Asian American peers.

How can we close these widening gaps that perpetuate cycles of poverty and weaken economic competitiveness?

A number of California schools have cracked the code to improving high school completion by integrating rigorous academics, career-technical education classes and work-based learning opportunities. This “linked learning” approach has successfully delivered career- and college-ready graduates, in part by incorporating local businesses to support education programs.

But that’s not all.

After completing the first full six years of the model last spring, the inaugural cohort of students at P-Tech in Brooklyn, N.Y., had a graduation rate four times the national community college graduation rate and five times the rate for low-income students. Many of these graduates have gone on to complete their bachelor’s degrees, while others have joined the new-collar workforce at IBM, which designed — and continues to steward — the model.

The P-Tech network now includes schools in Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, New York, Rhode Island and Texas, with the number of schools expected to reach more than 120 by the fall. There are now more than 450 companies involved, providing mentoring, site visits, paid internships and “first in line” job interviews upon graduation — a powerful motivator for students.

Importantly, whether urban, suburban or rural, P-Tech schools work within existing state budgets and offer open admissions without pretesting. P-Tech schools don’t require or receive special resources. All partnerships benefit from IBM’s “playbook,” which helps ensure each school has the information to implement the model successfully.

The goal is to get students to a degree that has weight in the 21st century economy. Providing the P-Tech pathway, along with programs such as Linked Learning, will offer California’s students a new, debt-free pathway to ensuring their career success, and our state’s long-term economic growth.

California announces ‘record number’ of active apprentices