BUILDING A WORLD-CLASS WORKFORCE
Career Technical Education (CTE) and Industry Alliances
The FBC board selected Workforce Development as the priority initiative in 2015. Our decision was based on the growing skills gap in the workforce and a need to develop a broader range of career pathways.
The rapid acceleration of change due to technological advances created a cycle that left educators unable to keep pace, leaving a skills gap in the incoming workforce. In order for educators to keep curriculums current and able to prepare a workforce ready to meet the demands of employers, the employers must be a part of the design of education. Technology will continue to rapidly change the needs of the workforce, and continuing to work closely with industries and employers is the only way to ensure adaptability in programs.
In partnership with educational leaders, FBC launched a strategic planning process to investigate these skills gaps, along with existing assets that could be leveraged. Our goal was to align resources and look at the situation as an ecosystem.
Recognizing that strengthening the entire system required employers and industry leaders to not only work with educators, but also to align amongst themselves, we also focused on building a strong Advanced Manufacturing Cluster in partnership with the Office of Community and Economic Development at Fresno State. The San Joaquin Valley Manufacturing Alliance (SJVMA) is already more than 500 members strong, and celebrated it’s third annual Manufacturing Summit in April of 2017.
The SJVMA brings valley manufacturers together to collaborate on manufacturing education, policy advocacy, and working toward a focus on the triple bottom line. The Alliance is also working with the national Dream It, Do It campaign aimed at changing the perception that careers in manufacturing are not viable professions.
The spirit of collaboration in this community-wide effort is inspiring. We encourage you to explore some of the exciting programs happening through the State Center Community College District and Fresno Unified School District. The new E3 platform developed by Imago for the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools helps parents and students navigate the many options available for CTE pathways, and connects students with employees for internships and job shadowing.