published on February 3, 2016 - 4:51 AM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

A dozen career technical and vocational education teachers from Central Valley high schools recently participated in a specialty manufacturing course designed to improve technical education opportunities. 

Advanced Manufacturing 101 – Central Valley Initiative was designed by College of the Sequoias (COS) as a collaborative effort between high schools, adult schools, community colleges, workforce development boards and industry partners. The program aims to improve advanced manufacturing education in the region and recently completed its third iteration.

According to a release on the program, Advanced Manufacturing 101 provides an opportunity to connect local employers with teachers in order to develop a curriculum that addresses skill gaps in the industry. 

School districts represented by the most recent cohort include:

• Visalia Unified School District

• Lindsay Unified School District

• Clovis Unified School District

• Fresno Unified School District

• Cutler-Orosi High Joint Unified School District

• Tulare Joint Unified School District

• Woodlake Unified School District

• Kings Canyon Unified School District

Participating instructors were given tours of two local manufacturing plants in Visalia—BlueScope Buildings and Serpa—and participated in focus group meetings with plant leadership and staff to gain an understanding of the skill set needed for students to pursue technical careers in the industry. BlueScope Buildings is one of the largest global manufacturers of engineered building solutions while Serpa manufactures high-quality machinery to provide end-of-line packaging solutions.

“I was blown away by the precision engineering technology behind the machines that enables their customers to reach the highest level of automation in their production facilities and have created a demand for high levels of skill sets, which is currently lacking in the workforce,” said Gurminder Sangha, deputy sector navigator for Advanced Manufacturing at COS. 

Previous industry partners include PPG Industries and ConAgra Foods. 

The next tour date is scheduled for March 30 and will offer teachers and administrators a chance to explore American Incorporated and Pregis’ facilities in Visalia. To register or learn more about the program, contact Sangha at

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