California has returned to its pre-pandemic practice of requiring those seeking unemployment benefits to actively search for work – a move many hope will help ease the labor shortage.

At WDB, we’re committed to any and all efforts to get workers back on the job. In recent months, plenty has been written on this subject – much of it focused on the impact of enhanced unemployment benefits, pay rates and workplace culture in filling open positions.

The good news: The number of San Bernardino County residents who are either employed or looking for work is growing. According to numbers from the California Employment Development Department, the county’s labor force climbed to 976,400 during June – the highest June total on record, and up nearly 6,000 from the month before.

That positive labor force trend line underscores the great opportunity that exists in San Bernardino County coming out of the pandemic. As one of the fastest-growing population and economic centers in the country, we’ve emerged as an extremely desirable place for growing companies to do business.

We know there is more to do, however. Our job centers and Business Services team are working diligently to ensure that there is a steady pipeline of workers to meet the needs of employers throughout the county.

In the meantime, we encourage businesses to check out our resources, including videos such as this on workplace culture as a recruitment and retention tool.
Phil Cothran, Chairman, San Bernardino County Workforce Development Board
Message from the Chair
Career pathways succeed with business support
The 2021-2022 academic year has officially begun in many of our school districts, and with that, literally hundreds of career pathway programs are back up and running. These hands-on learning opportunities are a win-win for students, looking for experience and insight into potential career opportunities, and for businesses, interested in developing future workers.

The success of career pathways is dependent on a number of things, most notably the partnership between schools and the business community. At WDB, we have long supported these efforts, and will continue to do so. Inspiring students at the high school, or even the junior high school, level is critical to building a strong and skilled talent pool for growing businesses and the industries we’re reliant upon as a region.

For more on how local students are progressing with regard to linked learning, pathways, and college and career readiness, check out this section of the San Bernardino County Community Indicators Report.
My first job at the age of 16 was as a T-Ball umpire. I continued to umpire Pony League baseball at all levels, and while I was in college at CSUSB, started officiating High School baseball, football and wrestling. Not only did it keep me in beer money, but officiating paid well and worked with my schedule. Most importantly, it taught me how to deal with difficult people and situations, as well as introduced me to the many communities throughout San Bernardino and Riverside counties. 
How OJT helped this Apple Valley company find the right employees
Carla Esnard has experienced the benefits of WDB’s On the Job Training (OJT) from both sides now – as a job seeker and an employer.

She was introduced to the program in 2017, after moving to the High Desert and in need of a job. Today, as Office Manager for Service Cranes Inc. in Apple Valley, she has hired two employees though OJT.

“OJT allows us to seek out individuals who are willing and ready to work but perhaps lack complete skill sets that we required,” Esnard says. “We take the skills the candidate already has and fine tune their skills to meet our needs.”

WDB’s OJT program is a free service that provides eligible companies reimbursement for up to 50% of a new hire’s wage while in training. To learn more about our Business Services team, visit our website.
Carla Esnard, Office Manager for Service Cranes Inc. in Apple Valley
We appreciate them, as well ...
WDB is proud to partner with the Youth Action Project in preparing the county’s next generation for future career opportunities. Among the skills students are taught is gratitude – something they practiced on us, with thank you notes for making the program possible. We’re happy to help, and to share with you some of their kind words.

Coming up
WDB hosts free virtual seminars throughout the week to help job seekers on topics such as interviewing skills, resume building and navigating the employment resources available during the pandemic. If you know of anyone who could use this valuable assistance, a calendar of upcoming sessions is available here.

In the meantime, here are some upcoming events and release dates.

Friday, August 20: California EDD releases July jobs report.

Friday, September 3: U.S. Department of Labor releases August jobs report.

Wednesday, September 22: WDB Executive and General Board meetings.
For archived videos of our free Business Services webinars, such as this one on creating a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion, click here.
Stay up to date
Click here to catch up on past editions of Workforce Update, WDB’s monthly e-newsletter and labor market intelligence report.

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