Education Matters: Closing the skills gap with a new high school grant

Education

FRESNO, California (KSEE) – In response to the skills gap seen in manufacturing and other industries, many company’s grow their own workforce, but a lot of those employees will need additional training.

However, a new grant will bring together local high school and industry leaders. They will work hand in hand to help employees improve their skills.

At spring manufacturer Betts Company, its President Mike Betts says they need a diverse workforce because they have all types of jobs, starting with entry-level to those who operate computer control machines to robotics.

“It’s so critical that we have our education partners that are teaching CNC skills, that are teaching life skills and soft skills and safety and quality and all of those things,” said Betts.

The Central Valley’s high schools have long had partnerships with industry leaders. The collaborations are usually designed to give students real-world experience, but a new grant awarded to CTEC (the Career Technical Education Charter high school) will expand the partnership in new ways.

“The strong workforce grant is a partnership with high school, post-secondary education, and our industry partners,” said CTEC Director Jonathan Delano.

“And we create an opportunity for us to collaborate together and develop something unique that will create an opportunity for us to close the skills gap we see in industry.”

Companies like Betts are always hiring new people many at entry-level positions. in order for those employees to move up and grow with the company, they need training.

“Within our Strong Workforce Grant, we talk about upskilling so it’s an opportunity for us to bring industry partners and their employees onto our campus and use state-of-the-art equipment to train their employees.”

CTEC and industry leaders will work together to develop a curriculum that will support the specific skills needed.

“We are able to take those same skills and take that same curriculum and apply it to our program to help support our students.”

The grant will allow CTEC to open its campus in the evenings, making it available to industry partners and their employees – a true partnership that benefits the community.

“It’s us coming together working on the same project and working to develop our leaders of today so we can impact our leaders of tomorrow.”

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