On June 27th a group of us attended the Kern Economic Development Corporation (KEDC) Board meeting at Tejon Ranch and stayed on for their annual dinner. With me in the photo are Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Dean Leah Carter and Dean Liz Rozell.
KEDC CEO Richard Chapman gave a remarkable presentation on KEDC activities for 2012-2013 and plans for 2013-2014. From this presentation I learned that:
1. We have a great public-private partnerships in Kern County that helps with Economic Growth and Development. For example, Kern County, through the work of KEDC and other partners were able to get the Ross Dress for Less distribution center to locate in Shafter.
2. The Brookings Institute just released a report on June 10th titled The Hidden Stem Economy. When I returned home I downloaded the report (http://tinyurl.com/nvvhrq5) with exciting news for community colleges as well as for Kern County. Here’s an excerpt:
Workers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields play a direct role in driving economic growth. Yet, because of how the STEM economy has been defined, policymakers have mainly focused on supporting workers with at least a bachelor’s (BA) degree, overlooking a strong potential workforce of those with less education but substantial STEM skills.
And here’s the best part, Bakersfield-Delano scored fourth of large metropolitan areas with the highest STEM knowledge for 2011. [Page 15 of the report]. Bakersfield-Delano, u rock!! And btw, did you read the blog post about our very own BC STEM students winning an award for the NASA project? check it out at http://tinyurl.com/ph76h53.
At the annual dinner, we had a chance to talk with with several key community leaders and also met some of the staff of KEDC. Cheryl Scott, the Vice President is on the Bakersfield College Foundation Board. Melinda Brown, Director of Business Development, came over with Richard Chapman to BC to welcome me to the community. Trish Reed who focuses on investor relations is absolutely fabulous. For more info on KEDC, go to their website at http://kedc.com/.
I was inspired by the good work this organization is doing for our community and look forward to working with them as an active and engaged partner.