Fontana Opens Industrial and Technical Learning Center (InTech Center)
February 9, 2016 – Fontana, California: The new Industrial and Technical Learning Center of the Inland Empire (InTech Center) is ready for occupancy according to Kathy Dutton, Director of Employment Development at Chaffey College. The first official training will start on February 16th.
“The entire Inland Empire region has come together, in perhaps an unprecedented way, to provide high-demand skilled workers for the technical aspects of Inland Empire businesses,” stated Dutton. “We are so proud of the involvement and dedication of our region to make such a bold move as this, recognizing that skills attract business and that businesses hire skilled people.”
In March, a robust schedule of training classes will begin, with the purpose of bridging the “skills gap” of technical positions in the Inland Empire.
Many economists and business leaders have warned that new technical jobs, which are being created through automation, computerization and innovation, are going unfilled. The advanced manufacturing plant of tomorrow will likely have fewer operators, sorters and assembly jobs. But skilled workers are needed to maintain the highly complex machinery and the computers that run lines and control operations.
“Facility automation offers a world of hope for members of the reliability industry: improved quality control, better safety for employees and customers, an increase in production and machine performance and ultimately, reductions in spending,” writes Lisa Richards in an April 8, 2015 article for Manufacturing.net.
The InTech Center will focus on career paths which will include lab work and coursework in a hands-on training environment. The programs are attracting workers with high school diplomas (or GEDs) who have career and educational goals not found in a formal college or university setting. In addition to brand-new skills for new workers in the workforce, special emphasis will be placed on updating existing skill levels, for incumbent workers, to match innovations in particular fields such as process control, robotics, 3D printing and five axis computer numerical control (CNC) milling.
As technology creeps into almost every aspect of our lives, large buildings, including factories and warehouses, have systems driven by computers for optimization of production lines, materials handling, HVAC and lighting systems.
The InTech Center will provide seven key areas of training: Industrial Electrical and Mechanical Maintenance, Machining, Automation and Robotics, Metal Fabrication, Welding, Engineering Technician and the new exploding field of Cyber Security and Control Systems Technology. Each of these areas includes skills that are needed in specific job categories where labor is in short supply. For example, Cyber Security is a rapidly growing field based on the Internet threats in both business and international politics. Many high-paying jobs exist in this are with some starting in the $80,000 per year range.
Chaffey College spearheaded an effort, with the Manufacturers’ Council of the Inland Empire, the Inland Empire Economic Partnership, 10 area community colleges, regional universities, San Bernardino and Riverside County Workforce Investment Board’s, and business leaders, to win a Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant, through the US Department of Labor. California Steel Industries, Inc. (CSI), added the location, valued at $2 million to the $15 million grant to provide a home for the InTech Center.
The InTech Center offers a 33,000 square foot facility that serves as technical labs and classrooms as well as offices for the staff that will coordinate programs and pathways for students. It also houses a cafeteria and conference facility, space newly remodeled by CSI. The building, owned by CSI, has been leased to the InTech Center at no charge; but much of the remodeling of the InTech Center was accomplished through grants.
Business partners and students may find more information and applications at the website, www.InTechCenter.org.