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John Milburn: Keeping SCV strong

Posted: February 19, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: February 19, 2014 2:00 a.m.

According to the recent news release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics the US economy added 113,000 jobs in January 2014 and, “…job gains occurred in construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, and mining…Employment in manufacturing increased in January (+21,000)…Manufacturing added an average of 7,000 jobs per month in 2013.”

While many say job growth remains weak, this is still positive news, especially when you consider that manufacturing produces $1.8 trillion of value each year, or 12.2 percent of U.S. GDP. According to the National Association of Manufacturers every dollar spent in manufacturing adds $1.48 to the economy. This is the highest multiplier effect of any economic sector. Also, manufacturing supports an estimated 17.2 million jobs in the United States—about one in six private-sector jobs. Nearly 12 million Americans (or 9 percent of the workforce) are employed directly in manufacturing.

Southern California is considered the largest manufacturing base in the nation. In Los Angeles County alone there are more than 365,000 jobs in manufacturing. The aerospace and defense and medical device industries continue to be a vital part of our local economy according to the 2013-2014 Mid-Year Economic Forecast and Industry Outlook by the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation. Manufacturing jobs support thousands of families across LA and the surrounding region.

According to the Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corporation, Santa Clarita Valley is home to more than 30 million square feet of industrial and commercial office space and more than 125,000 jobs. This includes numerous manufacturing employers in aerospace, medical device, 3D printing and other advanced manufacturing industries operating in the Santa Clarita Valley. This creates opportunity for those interested in these high-demand emerging careers. These companies and their employees design and build things as diverse as implantable medical devices, parts for spaceships, and props for television shows and movies.

Working Together is Smarter

The development and use of cutting-edge technologies in advanced manufacturing requires a trained workforce.

In today’s economic climate, we must leverage our resources and work together to create a vibrant local economy that can sustain itself through changing, and sometimes turbulent times. This is why at College of the Canyons Economic Development Division we work directly with local manufacturers to support their growth and success.

We provide employment services and training programs that are responsive to employers hiring and training needs. We also provide job-training and placement services to job-seekers who are looking to become employed in manufacturing and other key industries.

The Fast Track Institute at College of the Canyons provides fast-paced, intensive, job preparation programs for job seekers, mid-career professionals, recent high-school graduates and other community members looking for an opportunity to quickly jumpstart their career. Recently at the Employee Training Institute (ETI) and the Center for Applied Competitive Technology (CACT) we graduated our ninth cohort of CNC Machinists and our sixth cohort of Manufacturing Assembler & Test Technicians as part of the Fast Track Institute. Working together with the Santa Clarita WorkSource we hold focused job fairs that give employers a chance to meet and interview graduating job candidates one-on-one for current job openings in our area.

The WorkSource is also holding a Manufacturing Job Fair Friday February 28th that will feature open positions in Quality Control, Machine Operators, Sales, Welding, Customer Service and more. Many local employers from a wide variety of manufacturing industries will be on-hand to meet job candidates and discuss employment opportunities. More information on this public event is available at

At College of the Canyons Economic Development Division, we are committed to providing responsive workforce services for our community in the Santa Clarita Valley and surrounding region. You can find more information at

John Milburn is the Director of the Employee Training Institute (ETI) at College of the Canyons. For more information about ETI please call (661) 362-3245 or visit



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