Business Owners – what are your biggest concerns in our current times? I suspect that finding qualified candidates for job openings ranks high in those concerns.
Did you know that there is a concerted effort between the State of California, Economic Partnerships, Community Colleges, Universities and local School Districts to begin to help prepare students for work?
The Foothill Consortium Advisory Board is one of those that is active in helping groom students to be the perfect candidate. The purpose is to advance the region’s workforce by:
· Growing high school students within career academies to address the high-wage, high-skill, high-need workforce gaps
· Creating a forum for employers, educators, workforce and economic professionals to support the development of our future workforce
· Making it easy for employers to directly start shaping their future workforce
There are four school districts participating in this consortium by creating Learning Academies
· Charter Oak
There are four Regional Growth Industries the Academies are focused on
· Biotech and Life Sciences
· Tourism and Hospitality
The Academies offer the opportunity to connect all the core classes a student is required to take within the framework of their selected focus. So, when they get an English or Math assignment, it is grounded in the focus area of the Academy.
I’m sure you’re thinking – how what is required of me? Time. Our Chairwoman of the Board Tina Carey is a member of the Foothill Consortium Advisory Board and relayed that:
· "At this point in time, I’ve been to two sessions totaling a total of three hours of my time.
· I have been able to observe students in two academies in Monrovia High School – one focused on IT and one on Visual Arts
· I have been able to provide input as to how my company has used an intern in the Visual Arts Field
· I will have the opportunity to help define what are the key core competencies employees need to enter my workforce"
So, if this sounds like an opportunity for your business to use your time to help define and create our future workforce, this is a great match.
Feel free to contact the Duarte Chamber and we’ll get you connected J
Please help us in welcoming our newest addition – Chamber Charley Horse. As you may recall, the Chamber introduced Chamber Charlie, a plush moose, during the holiday season. He encouraged people to visit him at 20 member locations in 21 days. His presence was so embraced by businesses and the community alike, we were asked to expand the campaign.
Trying to find a mascot, we wanted looked at several options. We chose a horse as it not only was the horse an important part of Rancho Azusa de Duarte’s ability to grow in its farming capabilities and establish itself as a city, it symbolizes the strength of businesses that support the community in the growth of employment, commerce and residential life. The Chamber held a naming competition. With nearly 30 entries received the overwhelming favorite was submitted by Victor Benavides from the City of Hope. Stop by and say hi to Charley sometime!
The Duarte Chamber provided the opportunity for local businesses, residents and officials to have lunch with Assembly Member Blanca Rubio and hear how she is representing our area. Assembly Member Rubio was elected in 2016 and is considered a “moderate democrat” as she does have a commitment to represent business issues along with those of the community.
Blanca has worked tirelessly to give her constituents a voice in the Capitol, placing advocacy for children, women, families, students, and immigrants at the forefront of her work. Since her election in 2016, Blanca has authored bills that support victims of domestic violence, create opportunities for children within the foster care system, ensure our youngest students are given proper support to succeed in school, and support for immigrant communities. Through her work as Chairwoman of the Human Service Committee, Blanca has raised awareness of women’s rights by authoring resolutions that declare August Breast Feeding Awareness Month and October Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Blanca made it clear to everyone in attendance that she is an advocate for issues in her district, and her staff is always available to assist constituents, including cities, businesses and organizations with state related concerns. In one case, during a meeting of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee where discussion of an audit of the state and regional water boards was being considered, she recalled the multiple concerns relayed from the foothill cities in her district regarding the burdensome cost the MS4 Storm Water Permit. The impact to Duarte would be multiple times their annual budget. During this committee discussion, Blanca asked that the audit include the cities in our district be included to help shed light on the process and outcome. The audit was released earlier this month, and the CA Auditor’s report validated the many concerns by cities such as ours. Had it not been for the advocacy of cities such as ours, she would never have had the opportunity to speak on their behalf when the opportunity was presented.
After her update, the Assembly Member responded to several questions from the attendees including what she sees as the biggest issue for businesses over the next two years. Her biggest concern is workforce development and the need for businesses, public entities and schools to partner and ensure young people are getting the skills and training needed for the workplace. One example addressed the anticipated number of employees retiring in the next few years from the Gas Company – leading to a shortage of trained welders. Bob Cruz, past Chair of the Duarte Chamber, was able to share information regarding a partnership between Delafield (a Duarte Chamber business member), the Duarte Chamber, Duarte United School District and Mount San Antonio College. Collectively, a “welding boot camp” was created for juniors and seniors in High School for training through Mt. SAC. Mr. Cruz continued, “The first camp was held last summer and was so successful that the group wants to expand it in the future.” Assemblywoman Rubio eagerly responded, “Let us know how we can help you grow that. I will use that as an example of how they [chamber, education and businesses] are working to develop their workforce.”
Attendees at the luncheon included members of the Duarte Chamber Board, the Duarte Unified School District Board Members Doug Edwards and Reyna Diaz; DUSD Superintendent, Allan Mucerino; Duarte Mayor, John Fasana; Duarte Mayor Pro-Tem Liz Reilly; Duarte City Council Member, Tzeitel Paras-Caracci as well as representatives from the offices of State Senator Anthony Portantino, and County Supervisor, Kathryn Barger.