E-Blast, December 2017

E-Blast, December 2017

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.

Past Events
“Battle of the North II” VEX Robotics Competition

High School students in the Northern California region descended upon Shasta High School on November 11th, 2017 for the “Battle of the North II” VEX Robotics Competition.  A total of 30 high school teams were present at the event including groups representing Shasta, Enterprise, Foothill, Anderson, Central Valley, Anderson New Tech., Redwood Academy (Ukiah), Dublin High, Santa Clara, Inspire School of Arts and Sciences, Mira Loma High School, Shasta Charter Academy, Fall River, and Dunsmuir.

The teams challenged each other using robots created from VEX Robotics components and software for education called VEX EDR.  500 to 700 visitors visited throughout the day to watch over 150 regional robotics students participate in the competition itself.  The students squared off in the VEX Robotics Competition game of In the Zone, which is played by stacking cones on goals, by having the highest stacks, and by parking their robots in designated areas.  This game was developed by VEX Robotics Inc. and REC, who are leaders in educational and competitive robotics.

This year included two pivotal additions; Shasta High School’s first all-girls team who was the recipient of a Robotics Education & Competition Foundation, also known as REC, “Girls Powered” grant, and a separate arena set-up with VEX IQ robots that are geared towards middle school students.  The Battle of the North was made possible by the effort of countless volunteers who included faculty from regional high schools, advanced manufacturing instructors from supporting community colleges, the Advanced Manufacturing DSN of the Far North, and faculty from CSU Chico.

This event was a joint venture of Shasta High School and Shasta College.  Shasta College received a grant, focused on the advanced manufacturing sector, from the California Community College, Doing What Matters initiative, a portion of which sponsored $1,000 kits for local high schools to inspire and strengthen their robotics programs.

KRCR Video and Article:

Information provided by Charlie Pooler

Grow Manufacturing Initiative Expo (Far North)

On November 16th, over 3,000 individuals from the North State got a taste of advanced manufacturing at the 4th Annual North State Grow Manufacturing Expo. Attendees included fans of advanced manufacturing and students from across the region, ranging from sixth grade through college. Everyone who attended the expo was exposed to advanced manufacturing opportunities and the products that are currently being fabricated here in the North State. Many of last year’s exhibitors returned this year with hands-on equipment and displays that ranged from robotics and virtual reality to a turbofan engine that is utilized on locally fabricated aerial firefighting aircraft. Each exhibitor showcased how they continue to innovate in the field of advanced manufacturing and how they contribute to the economic vitality of the North State.
While the Expo is not a job fair, each manufacturer displays a “Job Board” listing common occupations employed by that company and the education required for each profession. For older students, it’s an opportunity to meet potential employers face-to-face and learn more about the companies.
For the third year, a series of 30-minute “Intro Classes” were offered; providing job seekers, middle school, high school and college-level students a taste of different skills needed for manufacturing careers. Held throughout the day, these trainings were facilitated by Butte College and CSU Chico faculty, as well as senior level Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering and Sustainable Manufacturing students from California State University Chico. The offered classes were comprised these topics:
1. Automation & Robotics
2. Cradle to Cradle: A Plastics Story
3. Drones: From Concept to Flight
4. 3D Printing: From Vision to Reality
This year the Grow Manufacturing Expo was made possible through the Grow Manufacturing Initiative who developed a public/ private partnership that exemplifies what is possible through this kind of collaboration. Participating agencies included the Northern Rural Training and Employment Consortium (NoRTEC), the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, the California Department of Education, over 30 regional advanced manufacturing firms, the California Community College System with support from the Deputy Sector Navigator for Advanced Manufacturing for the Far North, and California State University, Chico to name a few.

Chico ER Article:

Information provided by Charlie Pooler

Ignite Opportunity 4.0 STEM Career Day

The annual Ignite Opportunity 4.0 STEM Career Day took place on Friday October 20, 2017. This year’s event was held at Shasta District Fairgrounds. Over 1000 high school freshmen attended the event. These students represented schools from across the entire region – nine counties of students all in one place, learning all about the STEM careers that exist right here in the Northstate. Over 50 different exhibitors were on hand to discuss the many careers that they represented. Community colleges and other 4 year universities were also in attendance, discussing the many educational programs they offer that align with the represented careers. Author and former NASA Rocket Scientist Olympia LePoint was the keynote speaker for the event. Olympia spoke to the students about overcoming your fears and learning to reset if necessary. Students were able to participate in a hands on STEM Challenge and learned about launching rockets! Stay tuned for the 5th annual event, which will take place on October 19th, 2018.

Contact Heather Kelnhofer for more information

Advanced Manufacturing Activities (North)

North Region Activities information provided by Steve Dicus

11/28 – Yuba Community College held their combined Welding & Machining Industry Advisory.  Twenty three people form industry and education attended and provided input on the direction of both programs.

11/15 – at the Mid Town Sacramento Hacker Lab. The 5th semi annual “Start-up Hustle Showcase” where participants in this Fall’s 6 week Start-up Hustle gave brief pitches on the product they had developed, similar to the TV show Shark Tank.  There were 7 presentations viewed by over 100 audience members.  One presentation focused on a equine monitoring system, another presentation about a software application that would simplify some of the more complex procedures in the 3D modeling process.

10/31 – GMI (Grow Manufacturing Initiative) in the greater Sacramento area.  Sixty plus local manufacturing business owners were invited to a gathering at the Sutter Club, in downtown Sacramento to hear how Bill Gaines, of Transfer Flow in Chico began a local initiative to bring together the local manufacturing ecosystem partners in his region in hopes that something similar could be started in Sacramento.  Several attendees have stepped up and expressed interest in leading this charge forward.  The planning of next steps has already begun, stay tuned.

New World of Work, 21st Century Employability Skills – Workshop Series

In the Far North, innovation is taking the highly successful New World of Work curriculum, focusing on the 21st Century College and Career ready skills to a new level. Free stand-alone 90-minute workshops are being offered to students, along with community members, and industry partners to grow these essential skills for college, career, and life success. These workshops follow the NWoW recommendation of using 80% prescriptive curriculum and 20% additional material. The Far North workshops focus on NWoW curriculum with an additional 30 minute structured peer-to-peer learning conversation sessions.. The learning conversations are three 10-minute rounds where diverse groups of students and community members from various industries discuss pre-scripted questions that aligned with the specific 21st Century Skill workshop. Rachelle Modena, Small Business Deputy Sector Navigator, launched the first workshop at Shasta College in October with great success. The workshop included 15 community members from industry and 25 Shasta College students. Additional colleges that will be launching these workshops include Mendocino College, College of the Redwoods, and College of the Siskiyous. If you are interested in learning more about this innovative delivery model, please contact Rachelle Modena at

Upcoming Events
NFN Buildings and Energy Regional Training Collaborative – Kick Off Meeting

January 9th, 11:30-4:00, Cosumnes River College 

The purpose of this collaborative is to bring together faculty and administrators from regional colleges along with industry representatives, labor market experts, and workforce/economic development experts to discuss training needs and opportunities that lead into an array of career paths related to buildings and energy. At this first meeting we will explore labor market demand, industry perspectives, existing programs, best practices/success stories, potential new programs, and other related topics.

All are welcome to attend. Please spread the word. Please direct all questions and inquiries to: Orion Walker,

Global Trade and Small Business Workshop

Tehama County December 14, 2017 Registration and More Information

Advanced Manufacturing Activities (North)

North Region Activities information provided by Steve Dicus

1/17/2018 – Hands on training provided by RobbJack of Lincoln 9:00 – 1:00.  This activity is open to educators and industry. Topics to be covered:

• New programming techniques with CAD/CAM systems

• Cutter geometries to take advantage of new technologies.

• Controlling heat generation

• Chatter reduction/ Dampening technologies

• Thin wall cutting

• How to get fast and easy data for any material

• Slitting saws vs End mills and when and how to use each

1/29/18  – Sac Valley SME sponsored a tour of Aerojet in Rancho Cordova.  Limit to 20 participants.  Contact Steve Dicus for reservations.

New World of Work Coming to Butte College

February 8th and 9th, 2018

Save the Date! Please Contact Melisse Boyd for more information

Temple Grandin to Speak at Shasta College

Temple Grandin talks to cows…and she’s coming to the Shasta College Theatre and the State Theatre in Red Bluff to talk to students and the public about her life and experiences in the fields of autism and animal behavior. Dr. Grandin is a professor at Colorado State University, has been inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has had a Emmy Award winning movie made about her life. As a best-selling author and dynamic speaker Temple is sure to provide a learning experience unlike any other. Be sure to catch Temple Grandin on Thursday, February 22nd at 6:30pm at the Shasta College Theatre and again on Friday, February 23rd at 10:30am at the State Theatre in Red Bluff. Special thanks to the Shasta College Ag Leadership Club, in partnership with the Deputy Sector Navigator for Agriculture and Red Bluff High School for their work in bringing Temple Grandin to our communities to speak. Contact Heather Kelnhofer for more information

Prop 39 Mini Grants/ Workplans 2017/18
CCCAOE Updates

Thank you to all who attended the Fall Conference in Palm Springs. Be on the look out for information regarding the Spring Conference.

Upcoming NFNRC Meetings and Calls

Please RSVP to in-person Regional Meetings, visit; click on the Contact and Meeting RSVP tab at the bottom right hand corner of the website.

• December 18: Coordinating Council Call 10am

• January 4: Program Recommendation Meeting 9am

• January 22: Coordinating Council Meeting 10am

• Jan 24-25: Regional Meeting beginning with dinner on the 24th
Face to Face, Gold Miners Inn, Grass Valley, CA . A draft agenda will be sent out this week.  Please RSVP to in-person Regional Meetings, visit; click on the Contact and Meeting RSVP tab at the bottom right hand corner of the website. Contact Melisse Boyd for more information.

Upcoming Meetings