The Sound of Results


(Photo: pxhere)

It is often said results speak for themselves. But, what if they don’t? What if the most important accomplishment is mastering new ways to think and work together—culture change?

The San Joaquin Valley Manufacturing Alliance is built on the work of the Regional Jobs Initiative (RJI). The RJI was designed as a 5-year sprint in 2003 to create 30,000 jobs in the Central Valley, create new civic infrastructure, strengthen the workforce and build a dozen industry clusters. The theory—if we create jobs and a strong workforce—there will be resources for the city of Fresno to invest in amenities, parks and infrastructure instead of spending the bulk of its money on law enforcement. Everyone would benefit: job seekers, employers and the community. Much was accomplished. Many lessons were learned.

Businessman Mike Betts, informed by the work of the RJI, made a commitment to lead the Alliance from a civic perspective. Rather than create an industry cluster, he and many partners from government, education and nonprofits are standing together as citizens first to align resources and to get results. Rather than think from their self-interest, they are committed to doing what is best for the whole community. Single interests fragment and negotiate. Citizens align and leverage. You know which approach delivers better results!

New programs have started, dual enrollment is increasing, millions of dollars in equipment and programs have been added to career and technical education, instructors have become certified. The results are students are becoming credentialed and qualified for jobs, and students are finding career pathways they never knew existed.

Employers are discovering that if they want a strong workforce they must become a strong partner in curriculum design. They must offer externships so instructors are up to date on workforce culture and skill needs. They must offer internships to students at various levels as first jobs of generations past are no longer available. Most of all, they must be mentors and role models. Too many of our youth and young adults did not receive the kind of mentoring those in healthy families receive by osmosis. We must be intentional.

We are not alone in this work. The California Community Colleges initiated the Strong Workforce Program and the impacts have rippled throughout the state. New funding, new policies and more alignments are the fruit of these efforts. California Forward and the California Stewardship Network are working together, not just to accelerate outcomes from this program, but to address critical community issues that prevent too many of our residents from being job ready and thriving.

2019 is a big year for us. The eighth California Economic Summit is coming to Fresno in the fall. We encourage you to check out the Summit website and read the 2019 Roadmap to Shared Prosperity. Every region is on board, Governor Newsom has been involved since the beginning and the commitment to advance economic, social and environmental issues together is shared by all. Civic stewardship—leaders working together on behalf of the whole—is the path to achieving Golden State reality.

 

http://caeconomy.org/reporting/entry/the-sound-of-results

Visalia community college upgrades Valley workforce with soft skills, management training


(Photo: College of the Sequoias)

For several years in Visalia, employers told the Visalia Economic Development Corporation and the Tulare County Workforce Investment Board they had a problem.

Their present and future workers needed to understand how to function better in the workplace—what they call “soft skills.”

For Jorge Zegarra at the College of the Sequoias that was a clue to get to identify and refine trainings to meet the employer needs.

“We work with employers to meet their workforce needs because we have the willingness to improve the economic growth and global competitiveness of business and industry in our region,” Zegarra said. “This helps more workers achieve upward mobility, which in turn improves their livelihood.”

The college offers an Essential Workplace Skills Training for employees of the manufacturing and logistic companies in the community. The training consists of eight sessions of three hours each and teaches basic skills like communications, problem solving, time management and critical thinking to name a few.

The classes are either held at the Training Resource Center at the College or at a local employer.

Another workplace challenge identified by employers is training people how to manage.

“Often, you will promote a valued employee into a managerial position, and they don’t have any managerial experience,” said Bruce Nicotero, who runs the JoAnn Stores distribution center in the Visalia Industrial Park.

The Frontline Supervisory Academy is a 36-hour course that covers 12 modules in three-hour increments in which new or existing managers learn tips about how to manage and motivate, the importance of teamwork, and how to manage change in today’s economy.

“We have an open enrollment approach to support small businesses where they can send one or two of their employees,” said Zegarra, who said that a class would normally need from fifteen to twenty participants.

In addition, the College of the Sequoias has partnered with a local employer in the city’s industrial park to offer an open enrollment electrical safety and industrial motor controls class that will begin this spring—as well as offering several food safety related trainings to help local employers comply with the Food Safety Modernization Act.

“The San Joaquin Valley now has sustainable support systems for Community Colleges that are industry led,” said Gurminder Sangha, Sector Navigator for Advanced Manufacturing for the California Community Colleges. “South Valley Industrial Collaborative, and San Joaquin Valley Manufacturing Alliance are the regional platforms supporting the development of K-16 CTE programs and pathways that are aligned with regional industry needs. Now my focus will be on the creating such partnerships across California to help support the Vision for Success.”

The COS mission talks about being focused on student learning that leads to productive work, lifelong learning and community involvement.

For Nicotero and other employers, there’s an appreciation for the work the college is doing not only to help employers today, but also to help build momentum for the South Valley Industrial Collaborative.

“We’ve held two Industrial Summits and we are in the early stages of building the process which will attract more industry partners and hopefully even more cooperation with local community colleges to address the key issue of workforce preparation,” said Nicotero.

The California Economic Summit—which will be held in Fresno this year (November 7-8)—brings together public, private and civic sector leaders to collaborate and adopt initiatives for fueling job creation and a stronger economy. The Summit—a collaboration of California Forward and the California Stewardship Network—has identified a strong workforce as critical to widely shared prosperity.

“It is exciting to see robust relationships developing between community colleges and employers in the Central Valley,” said Susan Lovenburg, director of the Partnership for Economic Prosperity for California Forward. “Their collaboration is crucial to building the workforce of the future.

On the rise? The Central Valley is beating the Bay Area and L.A. in key measures

Bitwise gets grant for job readiness program

Central Valley Business Times 

December 19, 2018

• James Irvine Foundation ponies up $350,000

 • “Unexpected people and places have huge contributions to make”

Bitwise Industries Inc. of Fresno says it has received a two-year grant of $350,000 from the James Irvine Foundation to help pay for its Geekwise Academy web developer job readiness programs.

The programs train unemployed and underemployed workers in the San Joaquin Valley for middle-wage jobs in the tech industry.

“The assumption that to be successful in technology, you must be a computer scientist in the Silicon Valley with a degree from a high-profile university, is one that has kept people in the Central Valley from exploring computer programming as a career,” says Irma Olguin Jr., co-founder and CEO, Bitwise  Industries. “We know that, if given an opportunity, unexpected people and places have huge contributions to make to the technology industry.”

One of the biggest problems facing the tech industry is the inabilityto find talent fast enough to keep up with demand. The purpose of Geekwise, theeducational arm of Bitwise, is to train software developers in Fresno. To date,Geekwise says it has educated 3,500 students and intentionally cultivated astudent population that is more than 50 percent female, 50 percent minority and20 percent first-generation immigrant.

https://files.constantcontact.com/2cb20f61601/3834d3d7-5da2-43f5-aa83-1088bc4a2dc0.pdf

Fresno’s first Black Bear Diner is opening soon — and the restaurant is hiring

BY BETHANY CLOUGH

DECEMBER 20, 2018 01:03 PM

Black Bear Diner is taking over the former Marie Callender’s Restaurant & Bakery space on West Shaw Avenue. It is slated to open in February or March of 2019. 

The first Black Bear Diner in Fresno is one step closer to opening.

The owner of the restaurant said Thursday that the location at 3602 W. Shaw Ave. is scheduled to open in February. She has not set an exact date.

The restaurants are hugely popular among diners in the central San Joaquin Valley, who have long wanted to open one in Fresno.

The Fresno Black Bear is owned by Amy Rose, who revealed new details about the restaurant Thursday.

It is taking over the 7,108-square-foot former Marie Callender’s Restaurant & Bakery near West Shaw and Marty avenues. It will seat 226 people.

The diner will have a meeting room with Wi-Fi available for large groups.

Black Bear Diner will be open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, and from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

The location will employ 92 people and has hired some workers, but is looking for more. Available positions include cooks and prep cooks and experienced servers, hosts and bussers. 

Interested applicants can apply online at Indeed.com. Positions range from minimum wage to $16 an hour, according to the website.

This will be Black Bear’s seventh restaurant in the area owned by the Rose family, including Bob Rose, who owns locations in Visalia, Madera, Tulare, Porterville, Hanford and Los Banos. The family had been planning to build a location in Clovis, but decided to open the restaurant in Fresno instead.

The brand has 119 diners in 12 states.

https://www.fresnobee.com/living/food-drink/bethany-clough/article223368015.html


The Wonderful Co. raises minimum wage to $15 per hour

PREVPREVIOUSROBERT PRICE: The man who literally cleared the way for the …

  • BY JOSEPH LUIZ jluiz@bakersfield.com
  • Dec 19, 2018

Employees at Wonderful Pistachios & Almonds in Lost Hills clap on Wednesday after hearing that full-time employees will be getting a $15 minimum wage starting Jan. 1. Courtesy photo

Employees at Wonderful Pistachios & Almonds in Lost Hills clap on Wednesday after hearing that full-time employees will be getting a $15 minimum wage starting Jan. 1. 

The Wonderful Co. announced on Wednesday that it is increasing its minimum wage to $15 an hour for all its full-time California employees as of Jan. 1.

The change will give more than 2,000 of its employees a 36 percent jump in pay, as the company currently pays a minimum wage of $11 an hour. The company said the increase marks an $80 million investment in its workers across all of its divisions and is the largest wage increase in company history.

The move comes as the state is working toward a $15-an-hour minimum wage by 2022. Gov. Jerry Brown approved a law in 2016 that steadily increases the minimum wage by a dollar every year, from $10 to $15.

“This substantial investment in our workers will have an immediate and meaningful impact on their lives,” co-owner Lynda Resnick said. “In addition to providing our Central Valley employees and their families free health care and education, we are now able to help them achieve a significantly improved standard of living.”

The company said employees were notified of the pay increase on Wednesday during meetings at some of the company’s facilities in the county.

“It felt like: Is this really happening?” said Julio Roja, who works as a forklift driver for Wonderful Pistachios and Almonds in Lost Hills. “We were just in shock. Everybody was happy.”

Roja said he thinks the wage increase is going to make a difference not just for his co-workers but for their families as well.

“I feel like it was a good thing they’re doing. I’m excited for everything that’s going to happen,” he said. “It’s going to make a big difference for my family, and for all of us. This is good news for everybody.”

Fellow employee Yesenia Osornio said the wage increase is just one way the company has shown support for its employees and their families.

“It’s a great company to work for, not only for the wages but the charter schools, scholarships and other things that they do,” she said.

Company officials said full-time employees who make more than the benchmark $15 per hour also will benefit with higher wages; however, it’s unclear what the amount might be or when it might happen.

Dave Szeflin, executive vice president of Wonderful Pistachios and Almonds, was excited to see the response the announcement about the increase would get from employees.

“What we’re trying to do is make The Wonderful Company the employer of choice in the Valley, and this is a big step in getting us there,” he said.

Szeflin said he hopes other Kern County companies will follow The Wonderful Co.’s example, but said that is unlikely to happen immediately.

“I don’t think we’re going to see anything in the next few weeks,” he said. “It takes some time to figure out the logistics.”

Wednesday’s announcement caught some industry insiders off guard.

“It certainly surprised us,” said Jeff Huckaby, president and CEO of Grimmway Farms, a leading agricultural company in Kern County. “We currently are evaluating the potential impact and what it means for the future.”

Huckaby said his company will continue to offer their workforce competitive wages and benefits that allow for a sustainable future. He cautioned about equating Grimmway to other ag companies, as it’s not an “apples to apples” comparison.

“Wonderful operates at the higher end of the industry spectrum … higher earnings, higher margins,” he said. “That’s not our business model.”

Bolthouse Farms, another leading agricultural company in Kern County, didn’t return a request for comment on Wednesday

https://www.bakersfield.com/news/the-wonderful-co-raises-minimum-wage-to-per-hour/article_ce450db0-03f9-11e9-b783-7f0b989ff19d.html

UC Merced working to open new management school

UC Merced is growing and changing and one of the biggest changes will be a new standalone business and management school.By Nathalie GrandaFriday, December 14, 2018 04:18PMMERCED, Calif. (KFSN) –UC Merced is growing and changing and one of the biggest changes will be a new standalone business and management school.

The university is working to create a new interdiscplinary school, one that university officials are calling the “management school of the future”.

“We’re taking existing programs, putting them together and focusing them together on this complex system,” Gallo School Planning Initiative Director Paul Maglio said.

The new Gallo school will bring together educators from the schools of engineering, natural sciences and humanities to teach students under one main focus. The university is already known for its focus on research and science, and the new school will be incorporating those science components into their program.

“In a business school, you tend to focus on profit. In natural resources you tend to focus on the planet. In cognitive science, you tend to focus on people. We’re bringing all that together to have a sustained focus all at the same time,” Maglio said.

The university’s Ernest & Julio Gallo School of Management already has graduate business programs.

Graduate student Taylor Fugere said the science-based business program is what drew her to UC merced, and she’s hopes a new school will bring more interested students.

“I think UC merced moving in that more specialized direction is going to be really helpful in people being able to explore different career options, and being able to have more opportunities for a hands-on educational experience.”

The process will take a few years. Ultimately, the new school will need to be reviewed and approved by several campus administrators, and the University of California regents. University officials hope to have the school in place by 2021.

https://abc30.com/education/uc-merced-working-to-open-new-management-school/4898598/

It’s a great time to be a blue-collar worker

By Bloomberg NewsPosted Dec 16, 2018 at 12:17 PM  

Worker shortage turns US labor market on its head as lower-paying jobs become plentiful and put pressure on employers to pay higher wages.

A surprise shortage of blue collar workers is changing the contours of the U.S. labor market, boosting their pay, narrowing wage inequality and drawing more women into those jobs.

The shortfall is being driven by a shrinking supply of manual and low-pay service workers as the labor force becomes more educated and less willing to take on such jobs, according to a new Conference Board study.

“The divergence between blue collar and white collar supply is going to persist and even become bigger through 2030,” Gad Levanon, chief economist for North America at the New York-based research group and one of the authors of the report, said in an interview.

That is likely to keep upward pressure on labor costs in such industries as construction, transportation and accommodation and food services. It also has implications for inflation and for the Federal Reserve as Chairman Jerome Powell and his colleagues try to sustain the 9-1/2-year-old expansion without overheating the economy. Unemployment at 3.7 percent is the lowest since 1969 and running well below Fed estimates for its long-run sustainable rate.

“The acute shortage of talent in the blue collar space is very, very pronounced,” said Peter Quigley, executive vice president at Kelly Services Inc., a staffing company with branches in all 50 states.

Manufacturers and other companies with physically demanding jobs are finding it tough to fill those positions when baby boomers retire. “It’s harder and harder to attract younger people into those jobs, either because they’re pursuing education alternatives or the stigma associated with light industrial work,” Quigley said.

The supply of lower-skilled workers is also being squeezed by growth in the number of Americans who’ve claimed disability benefits and dropped out of the labor force. Exacerbated by the opioid epidemic, that’s much more concentrated in the population without a bachelor’s degree, the Conference Board report says.

Tighter restrictions on immigration are also playing a role and will continue to do so in the future, said Moody’s Analytics’s Chief Economist Mark Zandi. Many of those foreign workers are lower-skilled and in industries such as construction and farming.

Automation and off-shoring were widely expected to devastate demand for industrial workers and depress their pay, especially when compared with their more educated counterparts. But that hasn’t happened, at least so far, according to the Conference Board: Blue collar and low-pay services jobs have grown as rapidly as total employment since the economy began recovering in June 2009

For much of this expansion, manufacturers and other companies have been slow to ramp up capital spending and step up automation, opting instead to take on more workers to meet rising demand for their products and services.

That’s been reflected in the slow growth of productivity: Output per hour worked has risen at an annual average rate of 1.2 percent since the recession ended in June 2009, well below the 2.2 percent post World War II pace.

Companies may also be approaching the limits of how much of their operations they’re willing or able to outsource. “We’re probably in the third and maybe fourth cycle of outsourcing,” Quigley said. “Most of the large companies, if they were going to outsource, they’ve already done it.”

The combination of surprisingly robust demand for blue collar workers and their limited supply is forcing companies to increase pay at the bottom end of the scale. Minimum wage increases have also helped those less well-off.

That’s helping to reverse the decades-long trend toward greater wage inequality, according to Levanon, who co-wrote the report with economist Frank Steemers.

Besides granting bigger wage increases, companies are getting creative in offering other perks to employees, including more breaks, re-jigged work schedules and greater flexibility for working parents, Quigley said.

The improved packages look to be attracting more women into blue collar jobs. “It helps remove some of the inhibitions or reluctance” some women may have in taking those positions, Levanon said.

The increase in female participation is particularly evident in the transportation sector, where demand for workers has taken off because of the growth of online shopping. “It’s probably ground zero for labor shortages,” Levanon said.

“Lower income workers are doing better,” Moody’s Zandi said. “The balance of power has shifted from employers to employees.”

https://www.recordnet.com/zz/news/20181216/its-great-time-to-be-blue-collar-worker

Pathways to high-quality jobs for young adults

Martha Ross, Kristin Anderson Moore, Kelly Murphy, Nicole Bateman, Alex DeMand, and Vanessa Sacks

Helping young people prepare to engage in work and life as productive adults is a central challenge for any society. Yet, many young people in the United States—particularly those from low-income or less educated families—find that the path to employment and economic security in adulthood is poorly marked or inaccessible.

Using an advanced methodology and longitudinal data, this report examines two main questions:

  • The quality of jobs (as measured by wages, benefits, hours, and job satisfaction) held by 29-year-olds who experienced disadvantage in adolescence
  • Whether particular employment, education, and training experiences in adolescence and early adulthood predict higher-quality jobs for 29-year-olds from disadvantaged backgrounds

We found that while most 29-year-olds are employed, background matters. Among those who were disadvantaged as adolescents, 79 percent are employed at age 29, and among those workers, 38 percent have high-quality jobs as measured by our job quality index. Their counterparts—29-year-olds from non-disadvantaged backgrounds—fare better: 90 percent are employed, and 48 percent of those have high-quality jobs.

29-year-olds from disadvantaged backgrounds are less likely to have high-quality jobs

Job quality among those from disadvantaged backgrounds varies by race and ethnicity: 21 percent of blacks have lower-quality jobs compared to 13 percent of whites and Hispanics. However, after controlling for education, training, work experience, and other characteristics, the gap in job quality scores between blacks and whites disappears, further emphasizing the value of equipping all young people for success in the labor market.

Authors

Turning to our second question, we identified the following factors as associated with higher quality jobs among 29-year-olds from disadvantaged backgrounds: 

Post-secondary education. Consistent with other research, this analysis finds that college degrees (associate, bachelor’s and graduate) are the strongest predictor of a high-quality job among young adults who were disadvantaged as adolescents, highlighting education’s potential as an equalizing force.

Internships, apprenticeships, cooperative education, and mentoring in high school. These work-based learning (WBL) experiences incorporate positive relationships with adults as supervisors and mentors. It is notable that they affect job quality a decade later, given that the effects of training programs sometimes fade over time.

Earlier experiences in the labor market.Having a job as a teenager (ages 16 to 18) predicts higher job quality in adulthood, as do higher wages at age 23. Given that the analysis controls for education, work experience, and other characteristics, the wage finding suggests that regardless of a young person’s education or work history, early good jobs (as measured by wages) lead to later good jobs.

Based on these findings, this report showcases key investments and education and training reforms that would provide more young people with a full range of opportunities as they develop and grow, and better prepare them to tackle the problems and jobs of the future.

Expand work-based learning within high school. Well-designed work-based learning (WBL) experiences enable adults to provide students with developmentally appropriate and incremental guidance that helps them develop the skills that employers seek in new hires. Moreover, it can link students to employers and contacts they would likely never reach on their own, especially if they and their families have limited social and professional networks

Increase completion rates of post-secondary degrees, with an explicit focus on quality and equity. The road to completion must run through quality teaching and curricula, since completion goals otherwise can be gamed by diluting curricula or screening out less-prepared students.

Improve on-ramps to employment for teens and young adults, particularly for those without post-secondary credentials. These on-ramps to employment can take many forms. In addition to the work-based learning programs in high school referenced above, nonprofits and community-based groups can offer them as well, and such organizations may be especially appropriate for older youth who are past high-school age and unsure about college. Programs for these young adults not in high school or college typically offer work readiness and technical skills development, often in combination with academics, mentoring, supportive services, and paid internships or stipends. Well-designed programs align training with local employer needs and look for employment opportunities with potential for advancement.

Promote further research and action on the role of positive relationships in employment and training programs for youth and young adults. Assess the feasibility and value of embedding supportive relationships between young people and caring adults as core principles in education and workforce programs. While it is not new or controversial to say that positive relationships are critical to human development, fostering and supporting such relationships is not always reflected in program design, funding, and implementation.

Download the full report.

One Million Workers: Looking into the future of California’s skilled workforce

NOVEMBER 01, 2018 BY ED COGHLAN


(Photo Credit: Energize Colleges)

The California Economic Summit’s challenge to train one million more skilled workers is a reflection that the Golden State’s workforce needs to be better prepared for the jobs in our fast changing 21st-century economy.

During the past year, Summit team members traveled the state with Van Ton-Quinlivan, executive vice chancellor for Workforce and Digital Futures, California Community Colleges, to discuss the future of workwith employers, leaders and educators in nearly two dozen different areas of California.

“Having completed 22 Future of Work MeetUps in cities of all types across California – urban, rural, suburban and affluent to struggling – I can attest to a common angst as communities anticipate how artificial intelligence and increased automation will impact the workplace,” said Ton-Quinlivan. “Employers and workers both want a playbook to future-proof and increase economic resiliency.”

Workers face several barriers, among them financial challenges and fitting college studies in between work and life responsibilities. These workers are “stranded” by technology and can’t access the current community college system because they either don’t have time to commute to school because of family and work obligations or simply because they live too far away. There are over eight million stranded workers in California, with 2.5 million of those under the age of 35.

Governor Brown signed legislation creating a California online community college to create a more flexible approach to competency-based education that can help many of them realize the California Dream.

“The online college is designed to let students go as fast as they want, with flexible start times to earn an industry valued credential, ” said Van Ton-Quinlivan.

Employers in the state not only have an immediate need to fill the skilled workers pipeline, but a fast-changing economy where employees must be reskilled often to keep pace with technological and competitive advances.

The Community Colleges are consolidating and expanding their work with California employers in ten different economic sectors to make sure that the system is nimbler in developing and offering Career Technical Education courses that can help meet that demand.

For the 2018 California Economic Summit attendees, who will gather in Santa Rosa on November 15-16, will have developing a skilled workforce prominent on its agenda.

Having more skilled workers not only meets the demands of employers but also creates more middle-income jobs, which can help more working-class Californians expand the state’s shrinking middle class.

The Summit is also exploring workforce innovations in the gig economy, which is attracting tens of thousands of workers to flexible but irregular employment. This rapidly growing sector is employing more and more people with upwards of 30 percent of the workforce already engaged in the gig economy. Businesses save resources in terms of benefits, office space and training. But what about the employee? What does their future look like? The Summit will dig into that issue.

To help students and workers advance careers or stay ahead of workplace automation, the Summit will also examine financial support and other ways to help students’ complete programs sooner at lower personal costs and make it easier to tap into training dollars. The Summit plans to discuss how current workforce and education investments, including financial aid policies, needs to be significantly re-imagined, elevating lifelong as a key tool to ensure our workforce and state can compete with the evolution of technology.

Finally, one of the winners from this year’s second annual Partnerships for Industry and Education (PIE) Contest – a competition to honor employer-education partnerships across the state – will lead a discussion on ways the Summit network can grow, strengthen and institutionalize successful partnerships. Public-private partnerships are another pivotal way for California to ensure a competitive workforce.

The California Economic Summit has emerged as the only statewide venue with a comprehensive agenda for taking on the challenges of our time: reducing income inequality, increasing economic security and community resiliency in a time of climate change, bolstering wealth generation, and restoring upward mobility.

http://caeconomy.org/reporting/entry/one-million-workers-looking-into-the-future-of-californias-skilled-workforc