June 14, 2022 Minutes-Brad Gates, Director, San Bernardino County Workforce Development Department-Person & via Zoom

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Hybrid Meeting In-Person and via ZOOM


Present:  Deborah Barmack, Peter Barmack, Greg Bradbard, Mike Burrows, Rachelle Bussell, Ken Coate, Sandra Cuellar, Kevin Dyerly, Mark Kaenel, Lena Kent, Lowell King, Bill Lemann, Darcy McNaboe, Miguel Mendoza, Jacquelyn Mercado, Dan Murphy, Bansree Parikh, Catherine Pritchett, Thomas Rice, Elizabeth Romero, Dan Schenkel, Kristine Scott, Paul Shimoff, Eric Ustation, Pete Van Helden, Reggie Webb, Michael Wells, Ray Wolfe, Marisa Yeager, and Frank Zabaleta.

Guest: LaDonna DiCamillo.

Announcements:  1) Appreciation was expressed to the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians for providing a wonderful breakfast and tour of their new Yaamava’ Resort and Casino last week.  Special thanks to representative Eric Ustation for his efforts to make it happen.

Lowell King, Chair presiding.

Motion/Second/Passed: Minutes from May 24, 2022.

The membership voted that David Ambroz, Public Policy-Community Engagement Officer, will serve as the Alternate representative for Amazon, replacing Marie Lloyd.

Mike Layne introduced Brad Gates, Director, San Bernardino County Workforce Development Department (WDD) who met with the group in person.  Brad was appointed Director of the department in March 2022 and has some 16-years of experience in job creation and economic development within San Bernardino County.

The San Bernardino County WDD operates programs under the guidance of the Workforce Development Board, funded by the Department of Labor’s Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The program helps create a comprehensive, high-quality workforce development system by aligning workforce opportunity, education, and economic development.  WIOA agency partners include the U.S. Department of Labor, in coordination with federal partners at the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services, collaborating to provide information and resources for states, local areas, non-profits and other grantees, and other stakeholders.  Together, WDD works with businesses that hire and retain skilled workers and also works with jobseekers in their pursuit of a career and increase prosperity.

The WDD offers business services many of which can be customized such as recruitment and training in addition to labor market information.  The on-the-job training (OJT) program reimburses businesses 50% of wages for the first 480 training hours.  The WDD works with business on ways to avoid layoffs and have a free human resource hotline where employers can get timely answers from human resources professionals helping to protect business from potentially costly fines and penalties.  Consulting services are available, as is participation in their business workshops.  When a lay off is inevitable, they offer rapid response presentations which addresses America’s Job Center of California, Employment Development Department, Unemployment & Disability Insurance Benefits, Dept. of Labor – C.O.B.R.A., S.B. County Department of Children Services, Retirement Accounts – 401k Plans, and Affordable Care Act.  If the lay off is more than 50 employees, they enact the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notice (WARN).  The WARN notice helps displaced employees find other employment and or retraining.  The department leverages State, County, and federal resources (EDD, Child Support, WDD, DOL, etc.) to assist dislocated workers.

The County has three America’s Job Centers of California (AJCCs) and are looking to increase that number as this is an extremely large county. The current centers are in the East Valley, West Valley and High Desert Regions of the County. WDD implements comprehensive strategies to meet the needs of local businesses for a skilled workforce, while creating opportunities for job seekers to prepare an Individual Employment Plan (IEP).  They partner with community colleges and others to provide training.

Their youth services programs for 18–24-year old’s annually help some 1,500 that are not in school and are not employed, such as drop-outs, the homeless and teen parents.  They fund, by contract, outside organizations for a wide array of services to help them.

Brad reviewed our county’s local labor market which showed that our median age is significantly younger compared to the State and nation which gives us a competitive edge as our younger population will be able to work here longer.  Additionally, we have a higher percentage of those under 18 who will be the workforce of the future.  We now have more jobs and workers than in the past.  We have jobs at all levels and in a variety of sectors but need the people to fill them.  The top employment industries are in transportation/warehouse and healthcare, and average wages are competitive with surrounding counties.     Unfortunately, our labor force participation has dropped but increasing our low educational attainment would be a game changer for the County.  The number of jobs in the County has increased 5.4%, and unemployment is very low at 3.8%, which is considered full employment.

Services for adults and youth include:

  • Employment counseling
  • Career assessment
  • Career planning
  • Job search
  • Job placement
  • Personal coaching and mentoring
  • On-the-Job Training
  • Vocational training
  • Skills and aptitude assessments
  • Resume writing
  • Interview techniques
  • Referrals to partner agencies
  • Resource Room/Technology
  • Veterans Services

Their job is to help business fulfill their needs, have people get jobs and prepare for the future workforce.

A Q & A period followed.
Meeting adjourned at 8:33 a.m.