GMSP: Workforce Investment stresses education for jobs of the future

November 06, 2013
Santa Paula News

Ventura County has a regional strategy for a competitive workforce and there is a special organization that helps both business and those seeking training and employment-especially for jobs of the future-to be part of that movement.

Cheryl Moore, executive director of the Workforce Investment Board (WIB) of Ventura County (WIB) said at the October Good Morning Santa Paula that there are many breaks to be had on the part of business that need a special boost as well as potential employees.

Moore spoke at the Chamber of Commerce monthly breakfast meeting held at Garman's Irish Pub, an appearance arranged by Chamber Director Zahid Shah, also a WIB director.

The multi-faceted board concentrates on the ever-changing world economy and its significant impact on Ventura County, particularly workforce development and employer support that are imperative for the economic vitality of a community.

A unique aspect is that WIB programs and services are offered at no cost to employers and job seekers alike.

Moore said "The vision" for Ventura County is to retain business, attract new enterprise and have a bank of qualified employees.

Ongoing skills attainment is a must but Moore said it starts much earlier while future workers are still in high school.

"To meet the needs of business and industry," with qualified adult workers the "number of high school graduates must increase, we must reduce the dropout rate and graduates ready for college or job training."

Moore noted that although not all graduating students might want to attend a university or community college there are numerous jobs and careers that rely on training and certification programs that are vital to society and the economy.

And the job market of the future looks to be one that will need those who can serve the healthcare industry where more and more "baby boomers" that now hold the jobs will be retiring.

Manufacturing always needs skilled workers especially those that have received certificated training from community colleges and/or technical schools.

Moore noted that not only is such training valuable to the worker but also being able to provide such skilled workers attracts the manufacturing industry to the area.

"Clean green" and the multiple sector effort to build a sustainable environment will offer many jobs in new industries.

Moore said the regional strategy to meet such needs is encourage apprenticeships and training to match job sectors as well as to reduce the high school drop out rate of youth so they will be able to fill such employment needs.

Partnerships must also be developed to ensure youth are ready for careers and WIB has an employment webpage geared towards jobs for young people.

Regionally it is imperative to identify high-demand jobs, needed skill development needed, identify resources for "funding and in-kind support to leverage," the needs and the returns to set strategies and priorities for the future.

Moore said outreach has been launched including "Pushing an open door initiative.... more businesses that open their doors, the more people understand the type of work that is being done here. If businesses do not open their doors people will not know what is behind them."

And by opening the doors a business can reap benefits according to Sam Castillo who works with WIB and the Ventura County Job & Career Center.

He noted a program where everyone wins: "If you hire one of our job seeking clients you will get 50 percent of their wage," subsidized, an arrangement Castillo said has been utilized by several Santa Paula businesses.

For more information about the WIB visit http://portal.countyofventura.org/portal/page/portal/WIB

To view and/or download the WIB report, Shared Strategy for a Shared Prosperity The Ventura County Regional Strategic Workforce Development Plan 2013-2017 follow the link on the WIB website.





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