Apprenticeships Help Employers Compete
Apprenticeships, an ideal means to train future workers, have been around for centuries. Yet today, the apprenticeship model often doesn't come to mind when people think about preparing for a career or when employers want to develop skilled workers. That mindset is beginning to change---- and not a moment too soon. The labor force, especially in the construction and electrical trades, is facing a worker shortage with baby boomers retiring. At the same time, our city, state and national infrastructures are in need of repair.

Apprenticeships are not found just in traditional labor trades. In June 2015, Governor Jerry Brown earmarked $15 million for new apprenticeship programs in healthcare, advanced manufacturing, information technology, and renewable energy. Nearly $37 million of the state's 2015 budget went to apprenticeships. Nationally, businesses like CVS, Time Warner Cable, and Zurich N.A. insurance are using this flexible model to address employer needs and develop a pipeline of trained employees. To qualify for state and federal assistance to help fund an apprenticeship programs, businesses must register with the state of California through the Department of Apprenticeship Standards.

Offering apprenticeships is smart business. Apprentices become highly skilled in their fields. They are productive and motivated. In fact, the Department of Labor cites studies which indicate that for every dollar spent on an apprenticeship, employers receive an average of $1.47 back in increased worker productivity. For information about creating an apprenticeship program at your business and the grant application process, go to the California Department of Apprenticeship Standards website, or the Workforce Development Board.

Career Pathways
Over the past two years, the state of California has awarded Ventura County school districts more than $38 million in special grants to build regional career pathways. These are major public investments in collaborative partnerships between business and education. The purpose is to develop a pipeline of skilled, adaptable workers that enables California businesses to compete and thrive in the complex, constantly changing global economy. In Ventura County, WDB industry sector committees engage employers in public discussions to provide educators with business input/feedback on labor market data, local workforce demand, entry-level skill requirements, relevant content for curriculum development and career education, and ways to reach employers who will offer career-related experience, such as business site visits, job shadowing, and internships.

Employers are encouraged to contact a local high school, adult school, community college, or university to talk about ways to help students and teachers learn more about local career possibilities in your industries. In addition, employers interested in discussing regional workforce issues with other business leaders are welcome to participate in meetings of the Workforce Development Board industry sector committees: Clean/Green, Healthcare, and Manufacturing. For meeting information, visit the Workforce Development Board or call (805) 477-5306.

Consider On-the-Job Training When You Are Ready To Hire
Thinking about hiring a new employee? An On-the-Job Training (OJT) program can make it easier and more affordable. Funds are available to help you hire and train a screened applicant. OJT reimburses businesses up to 50 percent of a trainee's gross wages for the duration of the training period. OJT employers use their own systems to teach job seekers or current employees the new skills necessary for successful permanent employment within their companies. More information is available at the Workforce Development Board.

Nominations Open for 2016 WDB Awards
Know an individual, employer, organization or partnership whose extraordinary work or volunteer efforts have helped to build a strong workforce in Ventura County? Help us recognize those efforts by submitting a nomination for a 2016 WDB Award. At our June 16th WDB Annual Meeting, we will pay tribute to exceptional members of the Ventura County community with WDB Awards in four categories: WDB Youth Opportunity Award, WDB Collaborative Action Award, WDB Champion for Prosperity Award, and WDB Leadership Award.

Our congratulations again to the recipients of last year's 2015 WDB Awards: Douglas Wood, general manager at the Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach (WDB Youth Opportunity Award); Ralph Imondi and Linda Santschi, co-founders and scientific directors at Coastal Marine Labs (WDB Youth Opportunity Award); Tiffany Morse, Ph.D., director of career and technical education at the Ventura County Office of Education (WDB Collaborative Action Award); Subhash Karkare, Ph.D. at Moorpark College, Bill Pratt, VP Operations at Kinamed, and Scot Rabe, manufacturing technology professor at Ventura College (WDB Collaborative Action Award); Tejas Patel, president of Laksh, Inc. (WDB Champion for Prosperity Award); and Manuel Vega, CEO of Anacapa Water Blasting, Inc. (WDB Leadership Award).

Nominations for the 2016 WDB Awards are due by April 15th. Details and nomination forms are available at the Workforce Development Board.

Workforce Update is brought to you by the Workforce Development Board of Ventura County (WDB).The Workforce Development Board administers federal funds that help to support American Job Center locations and other free adult, youth, and employer programs and services in Ventura County.

Workforce Development Board
Bringing People and Opportunities Together
55 Partridge Drive, Ventura, California 93003
805.477.5306 or visit

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Who's Who
Congratulations! The recent Pacific Coast Business Times list of Who's Who in Business Leadership recognized WDB members Gerhard Apfelthaler, dean, graduate school of management, California Lutheran University; Greg Gillespie, president, Ventura County Community College, Bruce Stenslie, president/CEO, Economic Development Collaborative-Ventura County; and WDB Executive Director Cheryl Moore for their leadership and collaboration with businesses in the region. 

Source: United States Department of Labor

California Competes tax credits still available

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The Best Employee Benefits and Perks, according to Glassdoor

December 2015  
Not Seasonally Adjusted

U.S. = 4.8%
California = 5.8%
Ventura County = 5.4%

Workforce Development Board
of Ventura County
Job Outlook Report

Note: January Job Outlook will be available on WDB website on 3/4/16.


Tom Spence
KVTA 1590-AM

March 2 at 8:40AM

Click to listen to January broadcast, where Bruce Stenslie and Tiffany Morse talk about why Career Pathways are good for Ventura County employers.
CSUCI's Business Lecture Series at the Camarillo Library
  • March 16, 2016: "Business Management and Operations: Location Strategies" by Business Lecturer Alan Jaeger.
  • April 20, 2016: "Social Business: Where Profits Meet Meaning" by Business Lecturer Maria Ballesteros-Sola.
  • May 18, 2016: "Crowd-funding: Jumpstart Your Business" by Business Lecturer Michael Seay.
The library lecture series is sponsored by the Martin V. Smith School of Business & Economics; the City of Camarillo Public Library and the Russell Fischer Business Collection.

  Feb. 25, 8am
WDB Board Meeting

March 2, 3pm
Youth Council at HSA

March 11, 8am
Healthcare Committee at VCCF

March 18, 8am
Clean/Green Committee

April 13, 8am
Manufacturing Committee

Interested in helping to develop Ventura County's future workforce? Join us at one of our committee meetings. For meeting specifics, visit the Workforce Development Board and click on meeting calendar.