Sacramento Valley Manufacturing Initiative to Provide Job Training for Local Youth
by Mark Anderson, Sacramento Business Journal:
The local research and advocacy group Valley Vision and a group of Sacramento area manufacturing companies are working together to provide more job training for local youth.
The manufacturers hope to inform schools about their current technology and training needs, so that the schools can provide programs better suited to the local labor market.
“We want to develop a workforce to meet the needs of the 21st-century manufacturer,” said Dean Peckham, the project manager of the Sacramento Valley Manufacturing Initiative.
Many schools have ceased teaching industrial arts, and even the ones that do have programs might not meet the needs of local companies, Peckham said.
From a first scoping meeting that attracted 60 manufacturers in October, the volunteer group attracted 80 people to a formal organizational meeting at the end of February. That meeting included manufacturers and local high school and community college representatives, said Peckham, who retired from the city of Sacramento as a senior economic development project manager and is now a volunteer with Valley Vision.
“We’re going to make this thing happen,” said Kevin McGrew, director of quality management with Siemens’ Mobility division. Siemens’ (OTC: SIEGY) plant in South Sacramento employs more than 1,200 people who build locomotives, rail cars and light rail trains.
“We have as manufacturers had some individual relationships with some individual schools, but we have not had a common manufacturing voice out to all the workforce development groups and schools in general to help every high school program,” McGrew said.
The effort is intended to expand the workforce, and also to replace a wave of soon-to-be retiring workers, McGrew said. “If you walk through our places, there are a lot of gray beards.”…