E-Blast April 2020

E-Blast April 2020

p>As a subscriber, you will receive this E-Blast to your inbox every month. The goal of the E-Blast is to keep everyone in the NFN Regional Consortium up-to-date on news, events and other activities happening both in our region and the state. If you would like something placed into the E-blast and/or NFNRC Calendar, please send the information to (please submit by 5pm on the first Monday of the month to be included in that month’s newsletter). A full calendar and more information can be found on the Member Hub of the NFNRC website.

COVID-19 Information & Updates
COVID-19 Resources on the NFN Regional Consortia Website Now!

 COVID-19 Local, Regional, State & Federal resources have been added to the North Far North Website.

Learn More Here


Shop Talk Helps Teachers Navigate Remote Instruction

Teachers are helping teachers by sharing their methods and resources to teach advanced manufacturing remotely during the COVID-19 crisis. Shop Talk, a video conference call facilitated by Edu2Mfg’s Steve Dicus, has become an even more important resource for instructors faced with engaging hands-on students outside of the usual classrooms and labs. On the calls, this community of high school teachers and community college faculty members share their remote teaching methods to help each other. The group has steadily been growing with 23 participants on the recent call.


Submitted by: Jeff Briggs, Regional Director, Employer Engagement, Adv Manufacturing, North

Shasta GMI and Shasta College Launch Train the Trainer


The Shasta Grow Manufacturing Initiative (GMI), in conjunction with Shasta College, have launched the first Train the Trainer session on Friday March 13th, 2020.  The training session took place at Shasta High School’s new Advanced Manufacturing building, providing hands-on instruction of the Haas CNC Mill machine to Redding area high school CTE faculty.  Rick Osbrink of Shasta College led the 2 plus hour training, with Brian Grigsby and Bret Barnes from Shasta High School, Eric Poldervaart from West Valley High School, and George Wold from Anderson High School receiving the hands-on training.  A second session was planned for March 27th, 2020 but was postponed to later in the year due to the COVID-19 situation.

Shasta GMI throughout 2019 had been working with the 2 other GMI’s (Butte, Sacramento) in the North-Far North region to collaborate on best practices, advocacy, and other regional topics.  The Sacramento Manufacturing Valley Initiative (SVMI) had started the Train the Trainer program as part of their education strategy in 2018 to assist in the upskilling of high school faculty in advanced manufacturing.  By leveraging local industry partners and community college resources, this strategy showed success in quickly and cost-effectively providing the knowledge necessary for high school faculty with fledgling advanced manufacturing programs to gain necessary proficiency in operating and teaching CNC mills and lathes, plasma tables and other advanced manufacturing machinery.  Shasta GMI, along with the Far North Advanced Manufacturing Director, have looked to replicate the SVMI Train the Trainer model in the Far North and were pleased at the successful results of the session in March.  Future sessions will be planned later in 2020, with expansion to include Butte GMI and Butte College

Submitted by: John Schmidt, Regional Director, Employer Engagement, Adv Manufacturing, Far North

Business Interruption & Economic Impacts-NFN Region

During the later half of 2018 over 100 fires destroyed land and buildings in the NFN Region. Three of the top 20 largest and most destructive wildfires in California history occurred here that year. The Mendocino, Carr, and Camp Fires burned over 842,000 acres, and destroyed or damaged tens of thousands of structures—homes and businesses. Physical damages are estimated to be over $12 billion (CalFire). Approximately 52,000 people were evacuated. Tens of thousands remain permanently displaced and unemployed. Many have moved out of the area leaving an already tight labor market even more challenging for employers.

The ultimate impact of these fires to the region, its people, workforce, and businesses is not yet known. Homes, businesses, schools, churches, and other structures need to be rebuilt along with utility and telecommunications infrastructure. Besides the physical rebuilding, businesses are faced with restoring their workforce and for some their customer market, both depend on repopulating the region.

Produced by Economic Forensics and Analytics, Inc.  January 2020

Presented by Robert Eyler

Expanding NETLAB+ Capabilities to Instructors and Students

To increase opportunities for continuing student learning while campuses are closed, the North/Far North Regional Consortium is making its NFNRC NETLAB Virtual Networking Environment available to college professors, middle and high school teachers, and their students throughout the region.

Classes that would most benefit from NETLAB include those where students need to access Cisco networking equipment, but any course which has students use specialized software that would not ordinarily be easily available to them, such as Quickbooks or Microsoft or Linux server operating systems, could use NETLAB to make the software available from off-campus.

When Sierra College was required to move classes online, instructors had to find creative ways to allow students to continue to perform labs required for some IT classes. Traditionally, instructors have taught Microsoft Office courses in the classroom, using college-provided computers. With the transition to online teaching, they found that some students didn’t have the necessary computing resources at home, capable of completing the labs (Apple, Chromebook, low-powered computers, etc.). In order to solve this problem, instructors worked with regional NETLAB administrator, Jim Cosentino at Folsom Lake College (FLC), to provide a custom Microsoft Office 2019 NETLAB environment that students can access using a standard web browser.

One of the key elements to the success of this new lab environment is the ability to copy files into and out of NETLAB, which isn’t supported natively but which our NETLAB . At the request of Caleb Fowler, CIS faculty at FLC, Cosentino found a creative solution to enable this custom capability, so students can copy their completed project files to their personal Google Drive accounts and turn in their assignments.

To explain the capabilities of the NFNRC NETLAB, Markus Geissler has recorded a short video targeted primarily at instructors and administrators, which can be viewed here.

For more information contact:

Markus Geissler (North) at or Wendy Porter (Far North) at

Regional Directors, Employer Engagement, ICT & Digital Media

Cypress College launches “drive-up Wi-Fi” for student Internet access

In an effort to provide students with reliable, high-speed internet access — and in keeping with social-distancing directives issued by county, state, and national officials — Cypress College is launching “Drive-Up WiFi” available to all enrolled students

NFNRC News Center
Cutting Through the Gender Barrier… with Power Tools

News Center – December 2019

College of the Redwoods

When Lauren Morgan-Outhisack realized that being an avian field biologist was for the birds, she decided to pursue a lifelong passion for woodworking instead.

It was time for a change, and she was ready to build a brand new career from the ground up. There was just one problem: she was intimidated by the “boys’ club” reputation of hands-on, skilled positions.

“I hemmed and hawed for a while because I wasn’t sure,” says Morgan-Outhisack. “You hear stories about how accepting the trades are for women.”

That’s when opportunity knocked. On wood.

Lassen College Means Business for First-Generation Students

NFNRC News Center-January 2020

Lassen College

A nine-time high school dropout who finally earned her diploma by the skin of her teeth, Susan Rentfrow never thought college was an option — until Lassen College got
her back in business.

By the time she hit her early thirties, the determined mother of five had dreams of buying her first home, but she was having trouble finding a job.

“I wanted a career — I wanted more,” says Rentfrow, who was ready to move beyond her experience in retail and customer service. So when a friend said, “Come on, we’re
going to college,” Rentfrow was game, despite a few jitters about being the very first in her family to attend.

NFNRC Website Updates
Chancellor’s Office Fiscal Memos & Guidance

In hopes of providing a convenient resource for our colleges, we have collected Chancellor’s Office fiscal memos from the inception of Strong Workforce. You can access them here.  As someone new to the Strong Workforce Program, it was very helpful to read through these historical funding documents. Please take a look and let Allison  know if you would like to have something else added to the list.

Submitted by: Allison Travis-Bee

Regional Meeting

Thursday May 21, 2020-ZOOM

Time: 10:30-12:00

+1 669 900 6833 (US Toll)

+1 646 876 9923 (US Toll)

 Meeting ID: 810 709 4652