Corona: Putting Education and Industry Together for Needed Workforce
There has long been a communication gap between education and industry, a challenge that the City of Corona and its education partners Norco College and Corona-Norco Unified School District (CNUSD) recently decided to face head-on. Students are always looking for good jobs and industry has been challenged with finding good employees; a problem that has been compounded by the very low unemployment rate in Corona. The answer: the newly formed Workforce Strike Team.
The Team consists of Career Technical Education (CTE) educators from both Norco College and CNUSD as well as a handful of manufacturers from the Corona area. Resource participants include the City of Corona, the Corona Chamber of Commerce, and the County Workforce Development Board. Both Norco College and CNUSD have internship and apprenticeship programs that have placed students to work inside local manufacturing businesses; but the programs need to expand and reach more industry.
“The idea is to get all of the players to meet every other month so that our manufacturers can see what curriculum is being planned and the types of machinery the students are learning on,” said Kimberly Davidson, Economic Development Manager for the City of Corona. “It will also give the educators a chance to get to know our manufacturers, so they can plan for the training that will be needed.”
The first meeting, held in mid-September at Norco High School, was well attended by both educators, manufacturers, and resource partners, and included a tour of the robust CTE program at the school.
“Many manufacturers, like myself, have been struggling to find the workers we need in today’s manufacturing environment,” said Chad Miller, director at American National Manufacturing in Corona. “The Workforce Strike team has given us a direct connection to the educators and facilities that are teaching the students skills that we need today and many we will need in the future. Having an Apprentice and/or Internship Program is very valuable to the students, the educators, and the business community.”
The Team will meet every other month, with the next meeting occurring in mid-November at Cal-Draulics, an aerospace manufacturer in Corona. Meetings will be bi-monthly and will alternate between a CTE education facility and a local manufacturer.
“The Workforce Strike Team is a refreshing collaborative effort between business, education and local government that focuses on the development of our region by identifying key initiatives in equipping future employees through focused education,” said Mark Peabody, owner of Peabody Engineering & Supply, Inc. in Corona. “It is helping companies use cutting edge technologies to improve their operations and garnering beneficial relationships between private enterprise and government to enhance opportunities that grows our local economy to the benefit of everyone involved.”
For more information about the Workforce Strike Team, please contact Kimberly Davidson at 951-736-2297 or at Kimberly.Davidson@CoronaCA.gov.