Center for Community Partnerships

Long Beach City College Board of Trustees President Sunny Zia speaks Tuesday in front of a crowd of city leaders to announce the Center for Community and Industry Partnerships.

Long Beach area industry leaders have said for years that one of the biggest issues they face is finding qualified, motivated employees.

Now some of those businesses are partnering with Long Beach City College to help more people become those sought-after workers.

Tuesday, LBCC officials unveiled the new Center for Community & Industry Partnerships, with community and business leaders cheering them on. Mayors of Long Beach, Lakewood and Signal Hill were on hand, as were Port of Long Beach leaders, representatives from Long Beach and Seal Beach police department and a range of industry representatives.

"Many of our students utilize LBCC for career guidance before taking on a greater financial commitment at a university," LBCC Superintendent-President Reagan Romali said at the ceremony. "Today, we are proud to announce that our Center for Community & Industry Partnerships members have committed to helping these students in discovering how to translate their time at LBCC into a fulfilling future career."

Partners both private and public have pledged to help by opening jobs to students, providing internships and scholarships, serving on advisory committees to help guide and connect education programs with future jobs and exposing students to career alternatives.

More than 50 partners already have signed on, officials said. The Center staff will coordinate the assistance with students and faculty.

"These people have pledged that they want to become more involved with us by strengthening the ties between higher education and the workforce, and keeping our talented students local," Sunny Zia, president of the LBCC board of trustees, said. "This is a wonderful win-win relationship for both the local economy and education."

For more information about participating with the center, contact Marcia Parker at (562) 938-5007.

—Harry Saltzgaver

Harry has been executive editor of Gazette Newspapers for more than 26 years. He has been in the newspaper business for more than 35 years, with experience on both weekly and metropolitan daily papers in Colorado and California.

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