Norco College Oversees Funding for Strong Workforce Programs
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Norco College Oversees Funding for Strong Workforce Programs



     Norco College will oversee funding for seven Strong Workforce programs, totaling $2.3 million. The College is leading and participating in the development of seven programs.

      “This creates new opportunities to build and strengthen pathways to high-paying careers,” Samuel Lee, interim vice president, Academic Affairs said. “I am excited about the LAUNCH Apprenticeship Network and the opportunity to give our working students a chance to work at something that advances their education and career simultaneously.”

      The funding is part of the Strong Workforce Program, an initiative whose goal is to increase the number of skilled workers produced by community colleges. The ultimate goal is to expand career education programs while increasing the number of new career pathways, add faculty, strengthen curriculum, and improve regional cooperation among colleges and businesses.

Norco College will oversee and develop the following programs: 

  • Regional and District Job Developers — This project provides a collaborative regional approach to job development and placement for students within the region . Regional job developers are responsible for seeking out jobs in their respective college areas for their college’s Career & Technical Education (CTE) graduates. They also identify jobs that may be available in areas where their college may not offer the CTE program, or where no qualified local college candidates can be identified, and make referrals to other regional colleges where the CTE program is offered.

  • Building and Energy Systems Professional – This is a response to the energy efficiency industry facing serious shortfalls in developing a skilled, trained, and available labor pool. The project will advance student success by aligning content and outcomes with third-party evidence-based benchmarks and assessments leading to industry-valued credentials.
  • Regional Data Analysis and Alignment — The data and analytics project bridges data sources between the participating colleges, institutional effectiveness and the local Centers of Excellence to ensure validated data aligns across the region. Staff shall also conduct student surveys to report student goals, which helps with enrollment and completion data for Strong Workforce.
  • Awarding Veterans, the Credit They Deserve — This will allow colleges to communicate the guarantee of college credits to Veterans before they apply to Norco College. It will also allow for the development of a statewide public, searchable, database solution needed to sustain a national military-to-college articulation platform, including a training crosswalk for any community college interested in implementing the model.
  • LAUNCH Regional Apprenticeship Network — LAUNCH gives the region a comprehensive solution that empowers institutions, students, and employers to create stackable credentialing programs that target skills training, rewards work and learning, and delivers results through hiring locally available and trained apprentices. LAUNCH provides cost-effective methods and strategies for sustainability for seven individual colleges developing and expanding apprenticeship programs with expansion opportunities for other regional colleges.
  • Regional Mechatronics Technician Pathway — The demand for skilled mechatronics technicians is growing rapidly. Therefore, developing training programs for incumbent workers is needed. This funding shall establish education to career pathways for entry-level workers, thus expanding the facilities with the resources to provide a full curriculum for mechatronics training.
  • Using Employability/Soft Skills to Create Pathways — This addresses the employability/soft skills gap identified by both private and public-sector employers by serving non-traditional students while simultaneously creating employment and educational pathways consistent with labor market needs and college developed pathways.

“Increasing career education and workforce training to meet the demands of our region and the statewide labor market will greatly benefit our students and communities,” said Debra Mustain, Dean of Community Partnerships and Workforce Development. “It’s exciting and a step in the right direction.”