The Economic Development and Allied Health Divisions have been awarded approximately $900,000 from the state Chancellor’s Office to fund the staffing of three new “Deputy Sector Navigators” liaison positions designed to help community colleges better connect with the industry partners they serve.
The grant award is the result of an ongoing reorganization effort of the state’s Workforce and Economic Development program titled “Doing What Matters for Jobs and the Economy.”
The goals of the “Doing What Matters for Jobs and the Economy” program are to help close the state’s “skills gap” by providing in-demand skills training for employers, creating relevant career pathways and stackable credential programs, promoting student success and ultimately helping more Californians find employment.
As part of that reorganization effort the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office has placed a greater emphasis on regional economic development activities, with a particular focus on the strongest industry sectors for each region of the state.
“This refocus from the state Chancellor’s Office has many advantages, but two significant outcomes are apparent,” said Pete Bellas, dean of economic development at the college. “First, it recognizes that industry and jobs are very much regionally based and provides opportunities for colleges in those regions to enhance their working relationships with local businesses. Second, it will provide resources dedicated to keeping community college programs in pace with industry needs.”
The newly created Deputy Sector Navigator positions will function to help California’s community colleges better connect and collaborate with each other, in addition to the thousands of local businesses and industry partners they collectively serve.
With this recently awarded grant, College of the Canyons — which has been designated as part of the state’s South Central region — will be able to host three Deputy Sector Navigator liaison positions in the areas of advanced manufacturing, information communication technology/digital media, and allied health.
These individuals will be responsible for working with industry partners and representatives at other community colleges in the region to help leverage state funding to provide continued skills development training for these key industry sectors.
The navigator positions will also help connect those same industry partners with educators in community colleges, and at local high schools and junior highs, in order to better align potential career pathways with current curriculum and instruction methods, while improve student learning outcomes.
The following Deputy Sector Navigator positions have been filled at College of the Canyons:
Interim Deputy Sector Navigator
Interim Deputy Sector Navigator
Information Communication Technology/Digital Media
Deputy Sector Navigator and Director
COC Center for Applied Competitive Technologies
The Deputy Sector Navigators will support and improve regional workforce training for entry level and incumbent workers within their particular industry sector by helping to:
• Develop on-campus faculty collaborative groups
• Create college level certificate programs
• Oversee the articulation of curriculum agreements between secondary and postsecondary educational systems which form potential career pathways for students
• Implement work-based learning and internship opportunities
• Provide increased access to professional development opportunities
• Work with high schools and junior highs to better align career pathways and educate students about potential careers and training opportunities that can lead to employment
“These resources bring a wonderful opportunity to College of the Canyons and the entire region, in being able to pull together long range planning to better serve our workforce and community needs,” said Cynthia Dorroh, dean of allied health & public safety at the college. “Locally, John Cordova’s experience working within the health-care industry and high level of expertise in the areas of workforce development and grant management have already made significant contributions.”
As a host college, COC will continue to play a key role in steering the direction of critical economic development program related to these vital industry sectors, while being able to pursue the establishment of new, mutually beneficial partnerships within the region.
Included in the $900,000 award are funds to support salaries and program infrastructure costs, along with other workforce development and student/community outreach efforts to promote the numerous potential career pathways and employment opportunities open to all individuals.