Voices from the community: working together means working smarter | Community voice
Generations ago, during one of the most epic human migrations on record, thousands of families moved west across our country to the beating heart of California for the promise expressed in only one word:
A job that would allow them to feed their children.
A job that would improve their prospects.
A job that would give them security, roots, a home.
They had hope or, in the words of the great valley writer Gerald Haslam, they had the hope of hope.
These migrants would join forces with the people already here – descendants of the Yokout and other tribes, immigrants from Mexico, Asia, Africa, the Basque Country and elsewhere in Europe.
Together, they would build a legacy of hard work and enterprise, a reputation that would stretch across the globe with every harvest, every oil discovery, every aerospace company first registered in the endless skies above our deserts.
The will to work defines us.
All we need now, as we look to the horizon of a new era, are jobs.
Jobs that lead to more jobs.
CSU Bakersfield is engaged in an ambitious and unprecedented collaboration.
Better Bakersfield & Boundless Kern – B3K – is a regional economic development collaboration that began in February 2020 – the same month as the coronavirus pandemic, which accelerated our urgency to adapt to a new and changing world.
B3K’s goal is simple: to create and attract good jobs to diversify our economy, propel our region forward, and increase the prosperity and security of our families, friends and neighbors.
But building this engine will require the best of each of us. It will take a vision. It will require investment. It will take leaders.
Kern County is fortunate to have such a leader in the Valley Strong Credit Union.
In April, Valley Strong committed $ 1 million to fund an endowment to California State University, Bakersfield, which will support research related to growing and reimagining our economy and workforce.
Working together means working smarter
The public-private collaboration between CSUB and Valley Strong is as vital and innovative as the research that will emerge from it.
Partnerships like this are new, but they shouldn’t be. Business, government, the nonprofit world, and educational institutions are all focused on the same question: How can we shape the future rather than wait for it?
By working together, we leverage the talents, gifts and expertise of our entire community instead of duplicating efforts or working against the grain.
This approach is nothing new at CSUB. We work with our regional educational partners from cradle to quarry to build bridges through the Kern Pledge. Our mission is to increase the level of education and take advantage of the diversity of talent in our region.
B3K seeks to replicate this synergy, and the Valley Strong supported research grant will allow us to track progress on B3K metrics, which will improve transparency.
CSUB is so dedicated to developing an innovative program for Kern’s future workforce that we have made this priority a focus of our strategic plan. We are making great strides in aligning our curriculum and other experiential learning opportunities with key regional sectors such as energy, entrepreneurship, aerospace, business services and manufacturing peak.
The CSUB Entrepreneurship Program is a prime example. Today’s students are eager to implement their innovative ideas. At CSUB, they don’t have to wait.
Our faculty and staff nurture their ingenuity by giving them the knowledge and expertise they need to become entrepreneurs, grounded in sound business practices.
Our community partners provide students with the support they need to take their ideas from theory to practice and successfully to market.
We teach students that the way forward is to think big and dream bigger.
Here at CSUB, where the hopes and aspirations of an entire region are invested in the students who study and struggle here, there is no line between the end of community and the start of college. We rise as one. As a metropolitan university whose mission is to serve our region, we are rooted here, and our students are rooted here. The vast majority stay here after graduation, starting their careers and families, contributing to our economy and enriching our communities.
We therefore thank Valley Strong for recognizing that the leaders of the region of tomorrow are at CSUB today.
With the scholarship, the faculty and student teams at CSUB are poised to help the B3K collaboration unlock emerging opportunities that would otherwise go unnoticed and unseen.
As they look to the future of the workforce, they will be guided by the proud example of this unique place we call our home, a place where hard working men and women have built industries. world famous brands that fuel our economy.
A place that buzzes with ingenuity and productivity.
A place that values the dignity of work.
Lynnette Zelezny is the president of California State University, Bakersfield.