Industry/educator partnerships in the Inland Empire date back more than 25 years, but a more formalized relationship was established around 2001 with the formation of the Manufacturers’ Council of the Inland Empire known as the MCIE.
In the early stages of the relationship, the manufacturing industry reached out to the Economic & Workforce Development Department at Chaffey College seeking help to establish an accelerated craft training program in order to ‘home grow’ their talent. Industry partners, including SteelScape, Brithinee Electric, California Steel Industries (CSI), Vista Metals, California Portland Cement, Cott Beverages, Ventura Foods, Tamco, TST, Celestica, and a myriad of other employers, worked specifically on curriculum development to meet the training needs of manufacturers within the Inland Empire region. The current MCIE industry council continues to grow and works on a variety of projects with several community colleges, including Chaffey, San Bernardino Valley, Riverside City, Victor Valley, Barstow, and Norco Colleges.
Based on the outcomes of these relationships and the continuing need to address regional skills shortages, MCIE members concluded that industry would benefit from a regional training center. This idea was realized in 2014, when the Inland Empire Regional Training Consortium (IERTC), which consisted of nine community colleges, two universities, MCIE employers, and both San Bernardino and Riverside County Workforce Development systems, successfully wrote for and received a $14.9 million TAACCCT grant.
Inland Empire Economic Partnership (IEEP) CEO and President Paul Granillo was instrumental in advocating to state and federal elected officials to help establish a regional technical training center in the Inland Empire. The InTech Center was designed by industry for industry in order to support the largest manufacturing region in the country and develop a well-trained workforce.
Based on long-standing relationships that have spanned decades, Chaffey College Industrial Technical Learning Center known as InTech Center, still works closely with employers to build their talent pipeline, upskill their current workforce and utilize their talents and knowledge to inform curriculum decisions. Industry trusts our training output to the extent that our largest employer partner California Steel Industries, Inc., has dedicated cash investment of at least $1.9 million in building renovations to establish a first of its kind public/private partnership on-site at a manufacturing facility in an industrial area. We are dedicated to serving the needs of our industry partners and strengthening our regional economy through this joint partnership.
Chaffey College InTech Center has partnered with the San Bernardino County Economic and Workforce Development Departments in order to serve members of the community and provide training and services to the public. InTech’s relationship extends beyond simply referring clients and case management. Jointly, InTech participates in regional county and college advisory committees that review and create career pathway opportunities, strengthen training services and programs, and upskill incumbent workers while removing redundancies in our practices.
Some of the reasons San Bernardino County has been recognized as an exemplary model of county/college partnering is due to the long-standing relationships and a focus on aligning strategic plans to collectively achieve the goals of serving the community while improving the economy.
This requires difficult conversations, honesty, and a ‘roll-up-your-sleeves’ way of doing business. Chaffey College InTech Learning Center staff participate in collaborative retreats and meetings that address redundancies within both organizations and will create smoother access to services. InTech and county staff work on joint projects that can quickly be offered to a diverse demographic that accelerates employment. This includes youth, veterans, justice-involved, low-income, underserved, incumbent, underemployed, etc.
Chaffey College Industrial Technical Learning Center, referred to as the InTech Center, works closely with multiple colleges within the Inland Empire region and beyond.
- One of the ways InTech works with partner colleges is through the Strong Workforce funding issued through the California Community College Chancellor’s Office. Regional colleges review occupations through labor market data and meet with industry advisory teams who either confirm demand within an industry, or assist with guiding colleges to new opportunities. Once occupations have been identified, the regional team reviews all of the college proposals that will meet the needs of employers, and projects are then voted on for implementation. The region carefully considers the potential that colleges could oversaturate the region so it is determined which colleges are best positioned to deliver training within a given industry.
- InTech works with other colleges to accelerate the curriculum approval process by adopting previously approved and vetted curriculum after careful review and updates from industry advisors.
- Bi-monthly regional college meetings are held to address program and K-12/16 pathway alignment where it makes sense.
- Through the Chancellor’s Office ‘Doing What Matters’ initiative, regional colleges hold industry-specific joint meetings to stay on top of the latest trends, needs, and to coordinate future forecasting of program/training/educational offerings with the help of appointed Industry Sector Navigators and Deputy Navigators. The InTech Center focuses much of their training on Industrial Electrical and Mechanical occupations, Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration,
(HVAC-R), Mechatronics or Automated Manufacturing, and are currently working on getting the necessary funding to open a welding center and a CNC Machine shop to further efforts designed to meet employer demand and reduce the ever-widening skills gap(s).