E-Blast March 2020

E-Blast March 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 NorCal VEX Robotics League Finals 2.0

The NorCal VEX EDR High School Robotics League held its 2nd annual League Finals competition on Saturday February 8, 2020 at Shasta High School (Redding, CA).  The competition hosted 24 teams from 12 different high school teams (approximately 60-75 students) from the Northern California region, with teams from Redding, Anderson, Palo Cedro, Chico, Oroville, Dunsmuir, Etna, and McArthur represented.  Shasta Charter Academy was the tournament champion and overall winner of the league.  Shasta High School received the Design Award, while the Inspire Academy received the Judges Award.  Awarded teams have the opportunity to continue competing in the State Championships in March.  In addition to the competition, the Inspiration Robotics of Northern California received a $8,000 sponsorship from Sierra Pacifica Industries

The NorCal VEX Robotics League has received financial sponsorship support from the Far North Regional Director of Advanced Manufacturing since its inception and has continued to grow its reach and influence.  This has led to the league gaining the attention of industry, receiving financial support from Google in 2019  to assist the league’s growth throughout the Far North region.

Submitted by John Schmidt, Regional Director, Employer Engagement, Advanced Manufacturing, Far North.
grow TECH Fest 2019


Our very own Far North Butte College sponsored an amazing first ever growTECH Fest 2019.  We had over 100 students participate in the 3 day event, everything from Industry Tours, Industry lightening talks, pitch presentations and panel discussions.  The mentoring sessions were a hit as well.   This was such a major success to bring together industry, students, government officials, and education!  Over 300 participants joined in the 3 days of activities.

This event was an amazing way to connect Industry partners and students for our region and to bring to light the wonderful work our Community Colleges do to help students find jobs.  We would not be able to make this happen without the astonishing work Butte College, our Industry Partnership growTECH and Tech Startup Incubator Chicostart does to lift up the tech industry in Northern CA.  In the months after this event we saw better alignment and interest between education, industry and government.

We have already begun plans for growTECH Fest 2020 in October.”

Visit the growTech website

Submitted by-Wendy Porter ICT-DM Regional Director Employer Engagement in the Far North. For more information on 2020 growTECH Fest, contact Wendy at
NFNRC News Center
Ground Control to Major Nematode: Ag Education Goes Universal at Woodland College

NFNRC News Center – September 2019

Launching beneficial garden bugs into space? Yeah… it’s a thing. And this year, Woodland College Agriculture students are a critical part of this literally groundbreaking mission. 

They’ll be helping local ag-biotech company Pheronym conduct research on the effect of gravity on nematodes that eat up garden pests, reducing the amount of pesticides needed to grow crops. 

While one set of nematodes goes up to the International Space Station, Woodland College students will be running the control experiment on the ground. They’ll compare the difference between normal nematode behavior with those in space. The research will help Pheronym understand how nematodes function and could help astronauts grow food on future missions. 

More than a Pit Stop: American River College Grads Racing to In-Demand Careers

NFNRC News Center – January 2020

“American River College’s Automotive Programs and their internship program are the very reason I ended up with my dream job,” says Brandon Kelley, Owner of Classic Muscle Auto Shop. Located in Rancho Cordova and serving the Bay Area, Sacramento, and Reno, Kelley’s shop restores and repairs hotrods and classic cars, preserving America’s automobile history.

The ARC grad “lives and breathes all things automotive,” having owned his first classiccar three years before he could legally drive it. Through ARC’s Automotive Technology program, he found the skills he needed to succeed in the industry, building on a versatile skill set that now amounts to 30 years’ experience in welding, electrical wiring, racing, and more. Customers gush about Kelley’s quality workmanship and his close attention to detail, something that he says started with his American River College instructors.

“Ben French, Rocky Carlisle and John McCormack were all equally instrumental in
making my experience at ARC above and beyond what is to be expected from any
learning institution,” says Kelley. “I highly recommend ARC’s programs for any aspiring