Category: Workforce

IRS looking to fill 1,400 temporary positions in Fresno

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is looking for qualified applicants to fill over 1,400 temporary positions in Fresno. The agency is looking for clerks, data entry clerks, and tax examiners for jobs up to four months. According to the IRS, a clerk will generally sort and open mail, tax returns and organize files. A data entry clerk’s main duty will be to key in numeric data from tax returns on a computer while a tax examiner normally reviews returns for accuracy and errors.

Kern Community College District receives $678,514 to assist local companies to train employees

Kern Community College District’s Board of Trustees approved a contract with the California Employment Training Panel which will provide KCCD up to $678,514 in funds to help local companies improve the skills of their workforce through training. The contract period is two years. The California Employment Training Panel provides funding to employers to assist in upgrading the skills of their workers through training that leads to good paying, long-term jobs. This is KCCD’s seventh ETP contract.

Merced County employment hits highest point in decades. Which jobs saw the most gains?

More people were working last month in Merced County than at any time in almost 30 years, and the number of people out of work was at its second-lowest point in September – a combination that drove the county’s unemployment rate to its lowest point in decades. Estimates released Friday by the state Employment Development Department indicated Merced County’s unemployment rate was 5.5%. That’s the lowest it’s been since current tracking methods began in 1990. The previous low-water mark was a year ago, when the county’s unemployment rate was estimated at 6.0%. Across the central San Joaquin Valley, “August and September are historically the months reflecting the lowest rates each year because of seasonal swings in agricultural employment and because schools have teachers and staff returning to work after the summer,” said Steven Gutierrez, an EDD labor market consultant.

https://www.mercedsunstar.com/news/local/article236418983.html

VOLT and MJC programs get $1 million grant. It could mean higher-paying jobs for area

Almost $1 million in federal grant funds will boost occupational training at the VOLT Institute and Modesto Junior College. The Economic Development Administration approved the $980,750 grant for Opportunity Stanislaus, whose mission is improving economic vitality in Stanislaus County. The grant money will purchase cutting-edge equipment used in training programs at the VOLT center and MJC.

Gap is bringing 600 jobs to the Fresno area

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) — Gap Incorporated is set to begin hiring for the 2019 holiday season which will bring more than 600 jobs to the Fresno area.

The company has announced its plans to hire employees for a range of seasonal opportunities including sales associate positions, customer relations representatives and shipment coordinators at distribution centers.

It is hosting a one-day hiring event Saturday, October 5, at all Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy and other Gap incorporated locations across the United States from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Most contingency offers will be made immediately after interviewing at the hiring event.

All seasonal associates will also enjoy the same merchandise discount as the company’s current associates, just in time for holiday gift-giving.

Liberty High School working on new Career Technical Education facility

MADERA COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) — In the Madera Ranchos, off Avenue 12 something big is coming.

A small sign is sharing the news, “Coming Soon; the new Liberty High School Engineering, Agri-Science and Farming Academy,” known as LEAF.

It will be the first facility of its kind in the Golden Valley School District.

Seven new classrooms, four barns for livestock, three shops and greenhouses are just some of the major additions coming with the expansion. All of it benefiting the agriculture department, community and beyond.

“It is just a culmination of everything coming together and that shows that when this community is behind something, it ends up happening,” said Golden Valley School District superintendent Rodney Wallace.

Ag teacher and department head Anne Deniz said currently they are in need of more resources to meet student needs. She is a former Liberty High student and according to her, one of the biggest demands is space for livestock.

“When we have our livestock animals at students homes or they are sharing homes with each other it can be a five, six, eight hour day get to them all and weigh and see them and check up on those projects,” she said.

The new facility also means more classroom space and for Mrs.Deniz that’s a big deal. One of her classes involves making floral arrangements, her students also run a flower shop.

Currently, the school has about 560 students and only three Agricultural teachers. Ag is big in the community and Principal Felipe Piedra said the new facility will create new opportunities.

“We are pretty excited about that for our kids to be able to get some training and education here locally and preparing them for the bigger world,” he said.

The LEAF academy was funded through bond and grant dollars. Initially, it was slated to be completed in 2025, but it is all coming together much sooner in the year 2022. The district expects to break ground sometime next year.

https://abc30.com/education/liberty-high-school-working-on-new-career-technical-education-facility-/5450336/

State, local leaders tour Merced Unified’s CTE programs

 

 

By Sara Sandrik

Monday, September 16, 2019 8:27PM

ATWATER, Calif. (KFSN) — Atwater High School has the largest ag education program in the country, with everything from floral design to diesel mechanics.

Monday, students and teachers had a chance to show why they’ve been successful and what state leaders can do to support districts across California.

From welding to woodwork to horticulture and more, Atwater High had a chance to show State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond how students here are improving their academic and career skills.

“It’s really great exposure and getting all these higher officials who kind of control what we have as a school and what we do as students to really appreciate our program and what just students can do,” said high school senior Sophia Rhodes.

Thurmond was invited to the Merced Union High School District by Assemblymember Adam Gray and was joined on this tour by State Board of Education Member Ting Sun, Senator Anna Caballero, and several local leaders.

“All this equipment that you see that you would expect adults to be driving and getting paid, no these are run by students,” said Dave Gossman.

“I hope to get some ideas today as we walk around and talk to the local experts, and I’m really proud of Merced, the Central Valley, agriculture, and the Merced Union High School District, for all the great things we’re doing,” Gray said.

The district has been at the forefront of the statewide shift toward career technical education and currently offers more than 30 different CTE pathways.

Starting with the class of 2020, all MUHSD students are required to complete at least two CTE courses.

“It’s important for our college-bound students so they understand and get a little exposure to industry before they go to college so they might have a better idea of why they’re going to college,” said Superintendent Alan Peterson. “And then students who are going into the work world, we want them to leave us with those skills.”

Thurmond spoke about the recent increases in state funding for public education and CTE but says more can be done to ensure students are ready for bright futures in high demand fields.

“This is a great opportunity. Every student in our state should have this opportunity, and I’m committed to oing everything I can to make sure that happens,” he said.

https://abc30.com/education/state-local-leaders-tour-merced-unifieds-cte-programs/5544604/

Multi-million dollar project aims to clean Fresno’s air, improve neighborhoods

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) — From the soon-to-be cleaner air, you can see workers installing a landmark.

The solar panels on a southwest Fresno home represent the first step in a multi-million dollar journey for the city of Fresno.

“It feels good to see the first project get off the ground and benefit residents, but the best part is it’s going to allow residents to continue having affordable living in Fresno,” said City Councilmember Miguel Arias.

Jose Ledesma owns the home, but his family’s budget was getting squeezed by the high cost of electricity.

He says that in the past he’s had very high utility bills and he anticipates the installation of solar it’s going to drop significantly.

GRID Alternatives installed the panels Saturday with money from a Transformative Climate Communities grant.

“The work that we do as an organization really affects people, planet, and employment,” said Jesse Arreguin. “It’s a win-win all the way around.”

The company is finding people who could use solar panels to save money in three zip codes — 93706, 93721, 93701 — in southwest, southeast, and downtown Fresno.

They’re training people to install them, and they’re cutting down on fossil fuel use.

The company has $1.9 million in grant money for residential installations, so they plan to do this about 60 more times, including some bigger projects like apartment complexes.

Ledesma’s home is the first domino to fall in a huge $200 million Transform Fresno plan.

“People are going to start seeing a lot of groundbreakings, a lot of shovel ceremonies and that’s a good thing because the money is being put back into the community the way it was intended,” Arias said.

An affordable housing project in Chinatown, a community garden, and a bike trail should also get started soon.

But the biggest project will be the West Fresno Center, a satellite campus of Fresno City College in southwest Fresno.

The city has five years to finish the projects if it wants to cash in on state grants to cover about a third of the total costs.

CSUB ranks among top in country in science field salaries

Cal State Bakersfield is in the top tier for salaries in the physical and life sciences in the country, according to a new report by PayScale.

The 2019-20 College Salary Report ranked CSUB at 75 of 543 physical and life science programs evaluated for the report, putting the university in the top 14 percent. Statewide, CSUB placed third in this area within the CSU system.

“Our graduates earn top salaries because employers recognize the value of a CSUB education,” said Kathleen Madden, dean of the School of Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Engineering. “We are rightly proud of the role that we play in changing the future for our students while meeting the STEM workforce needs of Kern County and beyond.”

The annual PayScale report is based on the salaries of 3.5 million college graduates.

CSUB ranks among top in country in science field salaries

T-mobile, Sprint merger means jobs, high-speed internet access throughout the Valley


T-mobile and Sprint are seeking final approvals to merge. If that happens, a Customer Experience Center that would employ 1,000 people would open in Kingsburg.

T-mobile and Sprint are seeking final approvals to merge. If that happens, a Customer Experience Center that would employ 1,000 people would open in Kingsburg. T-MOBILE PHOTO

California’s Central Valley is vast, encompassing all or part of 18 counties, and is a dominant agricultural region in our state. Despite its prominent role in contributing to our state’s agricultural production, this region is often overlooked when it comes to economic development.

We have a chance to change this — if the state can look to the future and seize the opportunity right in front of us. Discussions on the merger of T-Mobile with Sprint have led to T-Mobile making a number of significant commitments that would have a positive and lasting impact on the Central Valley and the state of California as a whole.

We have reason to be hopeful here in the Valley. The merger has secured the approval of almost all of the regulatory bodies necessary to finalize the deal. The Department of Justice is the latest to convey its approval, joining the Federal Communications Commission and state utility regulators from 18 of the 19 states required.

Of particular importance to the Central Valley is the commitment by T-Mobile to build a new Customer Experience Center in Kingsburg. The center would create approximately 1,000 new jobs in a region that is still trying to recover from the Great Recession. These are good, well-paying jobs with benefits, and applicants need only a high school diploma or GED to qualify. Given the rate of unemployment and underemployment for this particular subset of job seekers, this is very good news. High school graduates simply do not have many options in the Central Valley. Kingsburg and the surrounding communities will also benefit from the increased economic activity these new jobs will bring to the area.

The merger also addresses an issue that has existed for years: the lack of infrastructure to support high-speed broadband access to rural communities. For example, updating and expanding mobile infrastructure in rural communities is critical for the future of our agriculture industry. Farming is being revolutionized by innovations in technology. Remote monitoring of crops and livestock, better decision-making based on data, and the ability to target irrigation and fertilization of crops are a few examples of how tech is making agriculture more efficient and sustainable. “Smart ag” devices use mobile broadband, but these tools are only as good as the networks available to them. 5G will enable farmers and ranchers to use this technology, keeping California’s ag industry strong, efficient and environmentally sustainable.

When T-Mobile announced it would make a significant investment in the Central Valley as part of its merger with Sprint, we were hopeful and optimistic their efforts would address the lack of broadband infrastructure in this region. Expanding 5G will connect the Central Valley with the rest of California, allowing this region to compete for jobs. In fact, with our lower cost of living, the Central Valley is an attractive place for tech firms to expand or locate their businesses, but we need the digital infrastructure first.

We are encouraged by the governor’s interest in developing economic opportunities in the Central Valley. The Customer Experience Center is a great example of these opportunities turning into reality.

We’d like our state officials to be Valley’s corner and welcome a visit from Attorney General Xavier Becerra to tour the area and see what an impact a project like T-Mobile’s Customer Experience Center would have on our residents. Diversifying our local economy is important to the future of the Central Valley. So is expanding high-speed broadband access, which in an increasingly digital economy takes on even greater importance. Without it, the digital divide will expand for our people.

With so much happening in our region, it seems as though the Central Valley is at a turning point. If we are able to move forward with the opportunities for growth and development and the T-Mobile merger is part of the turning point, we foresee a much brighter future for our communities, our young people and our businesses.

Michelle Roman is mayor of Kingsburg; Victor Lopez is mayor of Orange Cove and chairs the Central Valley Latino Mayors and Elected Officials Coalition.

https://www.fresnobee.com/opinion/readers-opinion/article234224602.html