There is plenty of evidence to suggest that San Bernardino County and the Inland Empire have emerged as one of America’s premier innovation centers. New business applications are approaching 5,000 per month, on average, in the two-county region, many of them providing technical and creative support to critical high-growth industries such as healthcare, supply chain management, advanced manufacturing and green energy.

To go along with that, our county is leading the way in building and supporting the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs:

The Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship at California State University San Bernardino offers undergraduate and graduate degrees, including its nationally ranked Master of Science in Entrepreneurship & Innovation.

With the support of philanthropist Randall Lewis, both the University of La Verne and Chaffey College are launching innovation and entrepreneur centers. The La Verne center ultimately will be located in Ontario, as part of the city’s revitalization of its historic downtown core.

In the High Desert, Victor Valley College’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center is working to “home grow individuals with entrepreneurial mindsets ... to innovate and bring about change to our community.”

“There is no question that the future of business and the future of work will be centered around innovation and entrepreneurship. With the growth that is occurring here, San Bernardino County and the Inland Empire are in a unique position to develop the innovation leaders of tomorrow,” said Lewis, who also has helped launch a Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at nearby Claremont McKenna College.

According to the U.S. Patent Office, more than one patent per day is issued, on average, to an individual or organization in the IE.

Nationwide, annual business startups have increased by more than 50% since the start of the pandemic, according to Census Bureau data. Here in the Inland Empire, business startups have surged 68% in that same time frame.

Meet Our New Board Leadership

WDB has elected its new Board leaders for 2023. Will Sterling, President and CEO of Sterling Synergy Systems, was elected Board Chair after serving as Vice Chair for the past few years. Scott Kuethen, CEO of Amtec Human Capital, becomes the new Board Vice Chair, and Shannon Shannon, President of SaddleRock Reverse Mortgage, will serve as Board Treasurer. Phil Cothran, whose term as Board Chair expired, will continue to serve on the Board as Immediate Past Chair.

Monthly Jobs Report

San Bernardino County’s job market has held steady over the past several months, with unemployment around 4% and payrolls at 980,000-plus. Across the Inland Empire, the logistics and supply chain sector added 10,800 jobs during November, with professional and business services adding another 2,100. Logistics also led year-over-year job growth, with a gain of 19,900, followed by healthcare (16,400) and leisure and hospitality (13,900).

For the latest EDD Labor Market Intelligence report for the Inland Empire, please click here.

Message from the Chair

Embracing the challenge ahead

William Sterling

WDB Chair

It is my honor to serve as the new Chair of the San Bernardino County Workforce Development Board. As Chairman, I will be working alongside other business leaders and regional stakeholders in supporting economic and career opportunities in one of the most vibrant communities anywhere in the country. To me, it goes back to my own first job, as a teenager working for a company that designed and manufactured equipment and machinery used by hospitals. Having been given the opportunity to work while I was still in school, I learned the value of both the employer and the employee, and how important every job was to the whole operation.

The world has changed quite a bit since then, but finding the right job, building the best team, and creating opportunities for individuals to thrive and companies to succeed is as important today as it has ever been. I look forward to the challenges ahead as our Board, Workforce Development staff, and many partners navigate an ever-changing economy. I know there will be challenges and opportunities and am confident we are ready to embrace both as we support the people and businesses of San Bernardino County.

And to Phil Cothran, my predecessor as WDB Board Chair, thank you for your leadership and service to this great organization. I look forward to continuing to work with you as members of this Board, for years to come.

My first job, at 18, was driving a school bus for a school district in Orange County. I actually enjoyed those kids and it did not deter me from wanting kids of my own. Eventually my bus driving career led to a job driving tourism buses, which set in motion my love of visitors and guiding them on what to see and what to explore. My career in hotel, hospitality and venue management all started with that first job. To this day I maintain my driver’s license to drive a bus – you just never know! 

In the News: Workforce Training as an Economic Catalyst

On the Job Training is one of the many services WDB provides businesses in San Bernardino County. In this story, Site Selection magazine examined the role of Workforce Development in supporting business growth in one of America’s fastest-growing counties.

Stat of the Month
Connecting Employers and Job Seekers

Local employers will participate in several hiring events at the County’s America’s Job Centers of California (AJCCs) in the coming weeks:

Thursday, January 19: West Valley AJCC, 9650 9th St., Suite A, Rancho Cucamonga. 9 a.m.-noon. Register here.

Wednesday, January 25: High Desert AJCC, 17310 Bear Valley Rd., Suite 109, Victorville. 10 a.m.-1 p.m.. Register here.

Thursday, February 2: East Valley AJCC, 500 Inland Center Drive, Space 508, San Bernardino. 9 a.m.-noon. Register here.

Thursday, February 16: West Valley AJCC, 9650 9th St., Suite A, Rancho Cucamonga. 9 a.m.-noon. Register here.

Thursday, February 23: Apple Valley Conference Center, 14975 Dale Evans Pkwy, Apple Valley, CA 92307. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Register here.

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, January 20: California EDD releases its December jobs report.

Friday, February 3: Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its January U.S. jobs report.

Visit our YouTube channel to view archived videos of our Business Services webinars, such as this one on cultivating Professionalism and Respect in the Workplace.

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.

If you know others who would like to receive this timely and important information, please invite them to join our mailing list at info.workforce@wdd.sbcounty.gov.

WIOA Title I-financially assisted programs or activities are an equal opportunity employer/program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.  For federal funding disclosure information, visit: wp.sbcounty.gov/workforce/ffd/.

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