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According to new research released as part of the Workforce Roadmap, San Bernardino County is showing tremendous growth and opportunity.
The Workforce Road Map (WRM) identified current and future needs of the region based on statistical data, labor market information and real-time intelligence. The Labor Market Indicator Report (LMI), conducted by the UCR Center for Economic Research and Development, showed the county experienced an annual net migration of 25,000 people and has added more than 130,000 jobs since 2010—a 27 percent growth rate. Key employment sectors in the county include logistics, manufacturing (which has increased by 22.5 percent since 2010), and healthcare.
The study also highlighted the area’s lower cost of home ownership, not just the median home prices. This suggested the county has better opportunities for longer term regional retention than neighboring counties.
According to officials, LMI is the first of three studies that will form a baseline to better understand where the county’s workforce and economic opportunities exist.
San Bernardino County Board Chairman Curt Hagman explained how the Roadmap and the county’s recently launched Vision2Succeed initiative (adopted by the board seven years ago), is designed to engage the community in a way that strengthens the skills of the local workforce, prepares them for career opportunities, while supporting and attracting businesses to the region.
“San Bernardino County is one of the fastest-growing population and employment centers in the U.S. People are coming here to experience a better quality of life and take advantage of the growing economic opportunities that exist here,” Hagman said. “Vision2Succeed and the Workforce Roadmap are two critical steps in establishing our county as a model for attracting businesses and creating partnerships that support the success of every resident.”
County Chief Executive Officer Gary McBride added, “Members of the Board of Supervisors and I have had the opportunity to see the various County-supported internship and other youth career programs in action, and these are game-changers for our region.”
McBride continued “Preparing our young people for the jobs we hope to attract is key to capitalizing on our current economic growth and achieving the Countywide Vision to ensure a prosperous and healthy future for our residents and investors.”
The Workforce Roadmap will provide asset mapping and real-time economic data to help businesses and stakeholders better understand not only what has taken place in our county, but where the county is going. That understanding will help better prepare workers for future opportunities, while ensuring that growing businesses have a pipeline of trained and qualified employees.
The initiative is being led by the county’s Workforce Development Board (WDB) and Economic Development Agency (EDA) in partnership with employers, educators and businesses.
Tony Myrell, Owner of Premier Medical Transportation Inc. and Chairman of the WDB expounded, “As a business owner, there’s so much information out there that it can be difficult to know where to turn. The Workforce Roadmap pulls together critical information businesses need to succeed. It also engages businesses in a way that’s never been done before, with a focus on how, together, we can build a pool of trained and qualified employees that help businesses grow and prosper.”
The WDB will provide data that can be used to develop programs that support job creation and business growth. “The only way to close the skills gap is to become predictive in nature, rather than reacting to changes after they’ve happened,” said Reg Javier, Deputy Executive Officer, Economic and Workforce Development.
“Today’s discussion is not the end of the process, but the beginning of a conversation and partnership between workforce, economic development, education and industry to determine what is needed and how to align systems and resources,” Javier added.
WDB offers a variety of programs designed to help youth and adults identify career pathways and get the appropriate training and skills. Programs funded through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) provide eligible youth, ages 16 to 24, access to a variety of career and educational services designed to help enhance job skills, develop leadership qualities, explore career options, participate in adult and peer mentoring opportunities, and take advantage of work experiences.
In addition, the WDB operates San Bernardino County’s three America’s Job Centers of California (AJCC). The AJCCs provide individuals with job training, placement and the tools to strengthen their skills to achieve a higher quality of life. The AJCCs also support and provide services to the county’s businesses, including employee recruitment and business retention programs.
For more information regarding WDB, employers and job seekers can call (800) 451-JOBS or visit http://www.sbcounty.gov/workforce.