Contributor Newsletter June 2023


June 2023

NFN News Center

K-12 Initiatives Broaden SiskiyouWorks ‘Superhighway’

When SiskiyouWorks Director Marie Caldwell envisions a student’s journey to career success, she sees an expansive highway — stretching for miles, lined with opportunities for students to merge into a successful career pathway. 

“The idea is to build a superhighway, where there’s lots of on-ramps and off-ramps to certification employment,” the passionate program director explains. 

This CTE “superhighway” is comprised of recent SiskiyouWorks initiatives Ready for Work and Preparing for Work. Both programs contain curriculum aimed at equipping high school and middle school students with the means to pursue future college and career pathways.

“It’s a very structured career-planning strategy that starts at middle school,” Caldwell says. “We piloted the middle school version [Preparing for Work] in two middle schools, and we’ve added a third … this year.” 

Meanwhile, the high school version of the program, Ready for Work, is giving career-minded students a distinct advantage with valuable hands-on experience in a variety of potential paths. Currently, the team is working to further integrate influencers at every level via an innovative internship framework.

“We have career technical education advisors across in every high school, deploying that program and working side-by-side with the CTE teachers [and] the career pathway teachers to lift that up and move it forward,” says Caldwell. 

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Fuel Injected Futures

Sierra College and RHUHSD Automotive.

Back in the days of Ford Thunderbirds and Chevy Bel Airs, young techs would learn automotive basics just by holding the flashlight while their parents changed the oil. But as today’s cars became too complicated to work on at home, native automotive skills and interest have broken down.

“We were trying to hire people and not having luck,” confides industry partner Bill McAnally, famous for his champion NASCAR racing team and owner of Bill McAnally Racing NAPA AutoCare. The shop had to train the few employees it could find for months on the basics. The dire need to build the local talent pipeline became clear to the racing enthusiast:

“We needed young people who were interested in automotive,” says McAnally.

The accelerating pressure fueled a unique partnership. The Roseville Joint Union High School District (RJUHSD) began offering automotive classes at McAnally’s shop conference center, with Sierra College on the career technical education advisory board. After the first semester, when every grad landed an automotive job, the partners knew they were on the right track. As McAnally says, “They started filling our void by bringing in some apprentices, so it worked out really well.” 

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‘J-O-B Degree’ for Rural Students

The report explained that economies in rural communities can be driven by various factors depending on the surrounding region. In open-space areas, the local economy is often driven either by agriculture, tourism or recreation, or by energy and mineral production. A community may have an economy driven by jobs such as public safety, education and health care, or one driven by the exploration of emerging or evolving industries, such as advanced manufacturing.

While rural communities can have many challenges – such a slack of funding, skepticism about education, enrollment changes related to geography – David Bevevino, the director of research and knowledge management at the Aspen Institute, said the report’s authors had tried to focus on the ways that these colleges can leverage their small size, central community role and diverse student body to achieve their goals and support their students.

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2023 Mayor’s Cup Cyber Awards

On Saturday, April 22, 2023 we celebrated the 2023 Mayor’s Cup Cyber Awards in a

joint awards ceremony with the Inland Empire/Desert (IED) Region for the 5th Annual Competition. Engagement has grown to over 500 students participating this year– growth attributed to SynEd’s partnership in hosting the event and in hosting Communities of Practice for educators, garnering interest. CS4Norcal and similar groups bring awareness to ICT careers among the north state. A notable highlight were the amount of individuals and community colleges who were first-time participants, something we are all proud to see!

Mayor Singh-Allen of Elk Grove kicked off the annual event thanking the incumbent winners at for their effort and emphasizing the rapid importance of cyber security and its growth as a field and a career option. Following the event, mayors are presented with the cup by the winning team. Mayor Scwank of Temecula received the Mayor’s Cup from the winning team at Temecula High School, Temecula’s second consecutive year of reign over the trophy for the IED Region.

Read More Here

Submitted by: Alena Anberg, Dir of Employer Partnership, Business & ICT

Re-imagined Hiring Event

at Butte College Career Center Spring 2023

This Spring the Butte College Career Center in partnership with SynEd, one of our valued Community College Partners, launched a new pilot to meaningfully connect students completing certificate and degree programs with employers hiring for those skills.  The event was modeled after SynEd’s Appointment with your future program.

The goals for the pilot included:

  • Strengthen Butte College’s partnership with some of our largest local employers.

  • Be a catalyst for developing an ongoing talent pipeline for these employers opening up opportunities for earlier interaction with students through work based learning experiences leading to employment.

  • Provide a more proactive approach toward job preparedness and job placement for Butte College students.

  • Strengthen the Career Center’s relationship with faculty and students.

"This new program does not just strengthen the bridge between education and employment; it transforms our students' potential.  Every student's journey deserves to be met with unwavering support and tailored guidance, empowering them to unleash their full potential and navigate the professional world with confidence. We are proud to witness students forging meaningful connections with employers as they build a future that is both fulfilling and impactful." -Brian Donnelly Interim Director Career Center

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Submitted by: Wendy Porter, Assistant Director Employer Partnerships,

Dr. Robert Eyler’s Webinar

Ask an Economist is hosted by Chabin Concepts and Dr. Eyler to assist you in gaining clarity on the economy, the consequences o f disruptions, and potential recovery timelines through these quickly changing times.

Robert Eyler, Ph.D. is a much sought-after speaker who brings economics "down to earth" and connects the impact of global events on our neighborhoods. He has discussed the economic impact and recovery from devastating business interruptions, such as COVID-19 and the destructive wildfires in northern California. Dr. Eyler is the Dean of the School of Extended and International Education, Professor of Economics, Director of the Center for Regional Analysis at Sonoma State University and President of Economic Forensics and Analytics, Inc.

 Chabin Concepts is an economic development and marketing firm that has worked with hundreds of rural and urban communities, agencies, and organizations over the past 36 years. Chabin is dedicated to bringing resources to help communities improve their economic development programs and help businesses succeed.

Hope you all agree that Monday June 5, 2023 webinar was 30 minutes well-spent. Great information was presented by Dr. Rob Eyler. If you missed it, view the recording here