The SBCTA Board of Directors received a presentation from Lou Monville, Project Director, and Dr. Karthick Ramakrishnan, Director of the UCR Center for Social Innovation on the Inland Economic Growth Initiative (IEGO) at its April Board Meeting. For the past two years, a broad array of business, civic, academic, labor, philanthropic and government stakeholders have participated in an effort centered on strategies to foster inclusive economic growth for our region. IEGO aims to increase viable pathways to the middle class for the bulk of residents in the region, whose highest levels of educational attainment is a high-school diploma, associate degree, or technical education.
This process involved more than 16 months of data gathering, input from over 100 stakeholders, and data analysis by the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program. This effort is complete and the report from the IEGO initiative is about to be released. The report will suggest strategies and further steps that our region can take to promote the aims of the IEGO initiative.
“The region is expanding in a good number of promising jobs,” Dr. Ramakrishnan offered to the Board. “However, it will take a collaborative effort among different sectors to sustain that energy for the next generation.”
To illustrate the types of programs that IEGO is suggesting as a solution, the San Bernardino County Workforce Development Board’s (WDB) successful GenerationGO! Career Pathways Initiative is an example. You may recall the presentation given at the November 2018 board meeting.
The WDB is creating a pipeline of talent to meet industry demand and help keep our youth in the region. Together, the education system, WDB, and industry are collaborating to change the trajectory of the Inland Empire for generations to come.
Having started in the City of San Bernardino, students, many of whom come from decades of generational poverty, are realizing new opportunities for their future. Under this program, high school seniors co-enroll at San Bernardino Valley College where they complete work readiness courses. Suddenly, they see a new possibility as a college student and so much more. Once they are career ready, they are placed at a local business where they can apply what they’ve learned in the classroom in real world situations. These students are graduating not only with a high school diploma but college credit, work experience and newfound hope for the future.
The County has seen success from this pilot project. Nearly 86 percent of the participants are enrolled in college and 50 percent of the participants are still employed. From here, the County hopes to scale this initiative across all 33 school districts, providing these opportunities to students throughout the County. As Generation Go!’s influence grows, the County intends to ensure it is building a pipeline of talent for business and the economy for now and the long term. To learn more visit sbcounty.gov/workforce (GenerationGo!).
To learn more about the IEGO initiative visit inlandgrowth.com (IEGO).