WEC special projects help make classroom education more relevant to jobs available in the community. Conversations between educators and the business community are especially important to give teachers resources that can guide students to living wage 21st century jobs.
Business Advisory Council:
The Simi Valley Unified School District asked the WEC to help it set up a Business Advisory Council. The WEC recruited one or more business professionals for each career pathway taught in Simi Valley. The Council. and teachers will meet quarterly to identify key concepts that career ready students should learn before leaving high school.
Jack Stewart, President of the California Technology and Manufacturers Association led 25 large and small manufacturers, legislators and school administrators in a two hour discussion of local workforce development needs. A steering committee formed and is working to identify programs that to help bridge the region’s skills gap. All participants committed to reconvene.
Manufacturer Skill Survey:
To identify the skills that local manufacturers are seeking in new hires, California Lutheran University, the City of Simi Valley and the WEC drafted, circulated and evaluated responses to a county-wide manufacturer skill survey. Survey results showed that the skills which most concern businesses are teamwork, critical thinking, honesty, timeliness and customer service. These findings were shared with educators, businesses, the Ventura County WIB and county economic development organizations. The Manufacturers’ Roundtable steering committee is exploring ways to strengthen these skills in the region’s high school students.
Copies of the survey report are available upon request.