E-Blast August 2020

E-Blast August 2020

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.

The North/Far North Center of Excellence has been tracking the regional labor market in the region and releasing key findings in a biweekly newsletter.

Unemployment—Despite record-breaking highs this spring, unemployment modestly improved in July in most counties in the North/Far North region. In the North, unemployment declined substantially in El Dorado, Placer, and Sutter counties. In the Far North, unemployment dropped by the greatest amount in Plumas, Colusa, Modoc, and Shasta counties.

Regional hiring—In the North region, total private employment increased 3.9% between April and May, with the most dramatic increases in leisure and hospitality (+13.6%) and accommodation and food services (+14.7%). The Far North saw smaller, but similar increases in hospitality and food services employment, and other sectors.

 Job losses—The Far North is losing jobs in sectors that anchor local economies. The data shows alarming job losses in the Far North since January in government (-7.7%), educational and health services (-6.8%), and professional and business services (-13.6%).

 Job postings—The number of job ads posted by employers is rising. Since May, job posting activity in the Sacramento area increased 86%, mostly in healthcare/social assistance and retail trade. In the Far North, activity increased by 42%, mainly in healthcare/social assistance, educational services, and public administration.

See the June 29 – July 10 labor market bulletin

See the July 13 – July 24 labor market bulletin

See the July 27 – August 7 labor market bulletin


You can also find an archive of COE labor market bulletins at the NFN website

Submitted by: Aaron Wilcher
ICT Educator Webinar Series

Over the past year, The ICT Sector Team has hosted 36 informational and interactive webinars for the far-flung and very independent career technical faculty of the 115 California Community Colleges garnering over 2900 views.

The online community building capability of sustained weekly engagement produced by our statewide team with Nicole Sherman, includes webinars, newsletters, surveys and custom investigations and has led to higher levels of participation, performance and dedication by the statewide faculty.

“This program has been unbelievably useful for our North Far North college’s ICT-DM and Business faculty in developing new programs and professional development,  I couldn’t be more proud of participating in this effort with our statewide team.  It certainly shows the power and impact our Statewide and Regional Directors collaboration can provide.” – Wendy Porter ICT-DM Regional Director Employer Engagement.

As we enter the 20-21 Academic year we will continue this valuable series and include the ICT Pathways K-12 audience. With this statewide scope of all CCCs and K-12 we can serve a greater interactive community of faculty.  Please review the attached article to learn more about this very helpful statewide ICT sector program.


For more information, Contact Wendy Porter at

Free Cyber Summer Camp Attracts 50 Sacramento Area Students

Sacramento County Office of Education and Square Root Academy Helping Students Tell Their Stories of 2020

Dozens of Sacramento-area middle and high school students are participating in a virtual summer camp, engaged in immersive activities that teach computer science concepts. The unique camp is free, and is also preparing the students and their families for distance learning during the upcoming school year. The two-week NorCal Cyber Stories virtual summer camp runs through August 7.

During the camp, the 50 participants are using Zoom video conferencing, MIT’s Scratch programming language, and curriculum created by the Square Root Academy to explore and experiment with coding, storytelling, and more. The curriculum is being hosted on Square Root’s “Scholars’ Playground” virtual learning platform. By the conclusion of the camp, students will have developed their own websites that tell stories of their experiences in 2020.

“We are committed to making equitable computer science education a top priority across California to nurture the next generation of skilled innovators,” said David W. Gordon, Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools. “We are so excited for these students to have the opportunity to participate in this virtual summer camp.”

The camp is a partnership between the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) and Square Root Academy, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating underrepresented youth on the fundamentals of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). Other partners include 916 Ink and Sacramento Area Youth Speaks (SAYS).

“We are so excited to be partnering with SCOE on the NorCal Cyber Stories Project,” said Nicholas Haystings, CEO of Square Root Academy. “This collaborative effort really provides a unique way to teach our youth the digital skills of tomorrow while infusing storytelling and creative expression. It’s both educational and therapeutic for our youth living and thriving in today’s academic climate.”

Thanks to the generosity of the Sacramento Public Library, the students participating in the camp were also provided with refurbished computers to use at home. They will keep the computers to support their distance learning and practice their newly acquired computer science skills during the upcoming school year.

The NorCal Cyber Stories summer camp is funded by SCOE’s Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Hub Project through a grant from the K–12 Strong Workforce Program, which offers a suite of services to help create computer science career pathways for students and support professional learning for teachers.

Career Technical Education Community of Practice


This upcoming school year is going to come with new challenges and it is important that teachers are feeling supported with tools and training to face them.  I encourage you all to have  your CTE teachers participate in our Region-wide CTE Community of Practice hosted by YCOE.  These meetings will be held virtually with teachers from Yolo, Yuba, Sutter, Colusa and Lake counties participating to support each other, share resources and learn together.  The facilitator is Dr. Justin Locketz, Coordinator College and Career Readiness, Placer County Office of Education.  He will lead the groups throughout the year with a focus on assessments with  virtual teaching for authentic learning.  Many of the workshops will be incorporated with the UDL framework.   Our kick-off event will be Aug 11, 2020 (1pm -2:30pm).  Please forward the registration invite attached to your CTE teachers.

Register Here

For more information, contact Keenya Powell at

NFNRC News Center
Sparks Fly… Paychecks Soar

     Butte College Welding Program– April 2020 News Center 


Sparks Fly… Paychecks Soar: Butte College Welding Connects Grads to Career Success It may sound like a bad pun… and, it is. But the fact is: there’s a bond among welders. For the skilled professionals that literally hold businesses together – from rocket laboratories to vodka distilleries – there’s an unspoken common approach. Gritty. Independent. Light on lollygagging, and heavy on elbow grease. It’s a philosophy that Butte College Welding program students adopt from day one. “They have a really strong work ethic, and they’re ready to go to work when we get them from day one,” says Kevin Hyler-Smith, Boilermaker Foreman at R.F. MacDonald, about his fellow grads. 


Since joining the industrial equipment supplier in 2008, he has seen a number of his fellow Butte College alumni hired. Professional welders in positions like these command considerable paychecks, and thanks to workforce-focused training programs like the one at Butte College, they’re often hired for real-world, living-wage positions less than a year after beginning their certifications. For Hyler-Smith, Butte College’s vaunted welding program would prove to be an “excellent choice,” both personally and financially. A father of seven, he credits his recession-proof training for not only forging a path to a fulfilling career, but for creating strength and stability in his home life. “I’ve been able to provide for my family in a very good manner and never had any questions or doubts about how I was going to provide that next meal,” he reflects. “I owe all of that back to going through the program [at Butte].” Hyler-Smith’s story of soldering success started during his sophomore year at Red Bluff High School.

A Passion for Preservation

Feather River Environmental Studies-October 2019 News Center


Forest, Fish, and Fire at Feather River College 

How do you catch a deer at Feather River College? It’s easy… ish

First, you head into the forest – just steps from the FRC Environmental Studies classrooms — to set up a net. For the next couple of weeks, you put out apples as bait. Finally, as dusk descends, you leap out of the bushes just as a remote-controlled net drops, and craftily attach a GPS collar before the skittery critter knows what’s what. 

Congratulations. You’re now performing science

It’s just another day in the life of an Environmental Studies student at FRC, where real-life learning happens in the great outdoors. Sometimes, that entails deer-wrangling. “It’s quite the amazing hands-on experience for students,” says Department Chair Dr. Darla DeRuiter. 

They’ve found that the deer they track mainly stay on campus, which is situated on about 180 acres of mixed conifer forest, black oak woodlands, and montane chaparral nestled in the heart of the 1.2-million-acre Plumas National Forest. This marks the ninth year that DeRuiter’s Intro to Wildlife class has been stalking stags in the name of science. But at FRC, it’s much more than research; it’s about stoking the passion for preservation. 

“Our program is geared toward natural resources… so our tagline is, make conservation your career,” says DeRuiter. “Understanding those natural resources and working toward caring for them in a way that will help them last in perpetuity is what we feel our role is for training students for the future.”