Viewing blog posts written by Gino DiCaro

InTech & Cal Steel show Apprenticeships can be golden gem of workforce development

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on Jan. 14, 2019

Site Selection Magazine wrote a great piece this week on the tremendous success of the InTech center, and how the training partnership between California Steel and Chaffey College in Riverside is literaly re-writing how apprenticeships can provide both aligned talent to local manufacturers and rewarding opportunites to students. See below and hit the link for full article on Site Selection Magazine.


San Bernardino County companies and institutions show the rest of the world how a regional approach works best for upskilling and growing the workforce.


The Industrial Technical Learning Center (InTech) at Chaffey College in Fontana, California, is the kind of place where individual dreams and company goals can both be realized. Launched in 2014 with a $14.9-million TAACCCT [Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training] grant, and with backing from companies and the region's 12 community colleges, the center is blazing new trails.

"The InTech partnership between California Steel and Chaffey College is an exemplary Apprenticeship model that aligns academic learning with hands-on, practical on-the-job learning," says Gino DiCaro, vice president of communications for the California Manufacturers & Technology Association. "Employers and community colleges up and down the state can learn from this highly successful apprenticeship program."

They can, and they should.

"The U.S manufacturing sector is advancing rapidly, and the pathways to developing and acquiring talent must change to keep pace," DiCaro says. "Secondary education must reflect current employment needs by offering a wider variety of training options for career choices, including apprenticeships that take the place of typical school programs for technical-style work."

Across-the-board buy-in is taking place in San Bernardino County in Southern California — with full support from the California Apprenticeship Initiative. The training option derives from innovation and necessity, considering the expected jobs growth. If the Inland Empire were a state, it would be the 40th largest by area and the 26th largest by population. Moreover, it's a region projected to add 157,860 jobs between 2017 to 2022 — a 10-percent jump ... READ MORE ON SITE SELECTION MAGAZINE

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ICYMI: Funding for career, technical training vital to fill skills gap

Posted by Ashley Hong, Policy Intern on May 22, 2017

In case you missed it, I penned the following piece that was printed in the San Diego Union Tribune last week (May 19), highlighting the need to ensure that interested students have the opportunities they deserve to join California's exciting advanced manufacturing economy.

Funding for career, technical training vital to fill skills gap -- by Dorothy Rothrock 

Every day we hear about manufacturers embracing exciting new technologies to become more streamlined, efficient and competitive. California’s innovative companies are adopting advanced manufacturing techniques to meet our stringent new environmental sustainability goals.

California needs a skilled workforce to perform all the jobs in our increasingly complex manufacturing economy. Trained machinists, electrical and mechanical technicians are already in high demand and can command middle class and better wages without a college degree. As one of the largest industrial states in the country, we need thousands of new workers to operate robots, manage data, and program computers to support manufacturing design, production and logistical systems. ... READ MORE ON SAN DIEGO UNION TRIBUNE

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Celebrate Earn and Learn program in East Bay

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on Feb. 12, 2017

CMTA member Bishop-Wisecarver (Pittsburg, CA) and its President Pamela Kan are helping to celebrate the success of the phenomenal Earn & Learn program in California's East Bay on Friday, March 3rd.  The project connects local employers with their future workforce through school and work-based learning opportunities.

Manufacturers in the region are invited to attend the March 3rd event from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. at the Concord Hilton at 1970 Diamond Blvd. in Concord, California.

Employers will be honored for their contributions, youth will talk about these life-changing experiences, and the new Chancellor of the Contra Costa Community College District, Dr. Fred Wood, will speak about the importance of this regional effort. We will also provide opportunities for employers to learn more about how to connect with their future workforce.

Registration for this event is free.  You can enjoy breakfast and be inspired to join others in helping local youth.

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Sacramento region report paints local “advanced manufacturing” picture

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on March 4, 2016

All manufacturing in California is in fact “advanced” because of the tremendous pressure to be efficient to remain competitive. But many regions are analyzing their “advanced manufacturing” sectors so they can make policies to grow high wage manufacturing jobs and ensure that there is a proper pipeline of workers with the skills that manufacturers need to fill technical positions.

Here in Sacramento, Valley Vision, a regional civic group, released an intriguing report --  Advanced Manufacturing Cluster: Workforce needs assessment -- that will inform a local workforce plan in May of 2016.

According to Valley Vision’s study, conducted with JP Morgan Chase, Los Rios Center of Excellence and the Burris Service Group, the six-county Sacramento Capital region employs more than 42,000 people in the “advanced manufacturing” sector directly and indirectly, contributing more than $12.4 billion in economic output.

The report defines its “advanced manufacturing” cluster this way:

“Advanced manufacturing is a process that integrates the coordinated use of information, automation, software, sensing and networking to improve the efficiency and reduce costs of manufacturing.  Although advanced manufacturing methods may be utilized by any manufacturing industry, high use of these methods tends to cluster in the following six manufacturing subsectors: Aerospace, Chemical, Computers/Electronics, Machinery, Plastic, Transportation.”


The findings show the “advanced manufacturing” cluster had more than 16,000 direct jobs in 2014, representing 42 percent of all manufacturing in the region. With several subsectors, the cluster’s competitive advantage lies within the transportation and machinery subsectors. The region shed nearly 1,800 jobs during the peak of the recession, but started rebounding in 2010. By 2019, the cluster is projected to add as many as 755 new jobs overall, but an examination of total job openings (new and replacement jobs including due to retirements) shows advanced manufacturing is projected to add more than 2,500 jobs across 15 high-demand occupations.

We look forward to seeing more reports like these in all regions in California. They show manufacturing’s tremendous direct and indirect economic benefits for any region, and they highlight the technical skills that drive the industry's success. Most importantly they show us that we need to ensure a proper pipeline of technical workers, and instructors, so manufacturing companies will see California as a safe place to make long-term investments and grow in the Golden State.

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Champion CSI welcomes advanced manufacturing certified student

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on Sept. 4, 2014

This post was written by Sandy Harmsen of the Workforce Investment Board for CMTA's Champions program.

The San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board received a grant from the California Workforce Investment Board to help 30 young adults, between 18 and 24 years old, earn certifications in courses designed to introduce a new generation of workers to the manufacturing industry. The courses can be taken at three locations: Chaffey College, San Bernardino Valley College, and Technical Employment Training, a non-profit organization offering training in the manufacturing trades.

In addition to providing nationally recognized industry certification, the program also offers the targeted career guidance and mentorship that the participants need to advance their career prospects in a meaningful way. 

George Loya at CSIGeorge Loya was sitting in an electrical theory class last spring at Chaffey College when his instructor announced a new training program for youth to learn how to maintain equipment in a manufacturing plant. “I signed up first thing,’’ said Loya, 23, who currently works at a distribution center in San Bernardino. “I wanted to better myself; I have a four-year-old daughter.’’  Loya went on to complete the training at Chaffey College and received the industry certification.  Program administrators are now helping him advance to the next step toward securing a job. He has passed an initial set of assessments to qualify for an entry level temporary position at California Steel Industries in Fontana. If he is invited to join California Steel, Loya could potentially go on to become a level “A” expert electrician earning more than $80,000 per year.

The youth training program relies on a recruitment effort shared by the County of San Bernardino and the community colleges where the training occurs, said Deborah Smith, a community training coordinator at Chaffey College.  In partnership with the training providers, staff of the Workforce Development Department promoted the program at America’s Job Centers of California, which have locations in the cities of San Bernardino, Victorville and Rancho Cucamonga.  They also recruited students from Chino Valley Unified School District and from other local youth service providers. This comprehensive approach was designed to identify students who may not have performed well in a traditional school setting, but who have the ability to master the technical skills to become a highly-trained electrician or mechanic in the manufacturing trade.

Jacklyn Ortiz is another student who recently completed the program at Chaffey College. Ortiz is a high school graduate with a criminal record. She passed every program test on the first try and was one of the best students in class, said Smith. “Jacklyn has a mechanical aptitude and is very sharp.’’ The program is intended to help individuals like Ortiz move forward and has connected her to a staffing agency that will work with former inmates. 

This program is a great example of how the combination of training and mentorship advances the careers of our youth.

Sandy Harmsen is executive director of the Workforce Investment Board and director of the County of San Bernardino Workforce Development Department.


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