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Education & Workforce

The strength in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines have formed the basis of innovations, technologies, and industries that have spurred the regional economic growth throughout the history of the state of California and the Inland Empire. Universities are essential to the creation and transfer of new knowledge that drives innovation. This knowledge moves out of the university and into broader society in several ways – through highly skilled graduates (i.e. human capital); academic publications; and the creation of new products, industries, and companies via the commercialization of these scientific breakthroughs. The relationship between education, the workforce, and industry is the engine that drives innovation in the region.

Recent Sector Highlights

The Inland Empire/Desert Regional Consortium (IEDRC) serves as a regional framework to communicate, coordinate, collaborate, promote and plan career and technical education and workforce and economic development in the Inland Empire/Desert Region. Recently, IEDRC has been introducing new trainings and programs focused on innovation and entrepreneurship at the community college level. For example, the IEDRC is piloting a 6 module workshop that was created in partnership with the National Association of Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) called Innovative Change MAKING, that educated faculty and administration on using the Makerspaces and Innovation Centers across all disciplines at the college to increase student engagement and community involvement. 

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ONE i/e is a non-profit organization working to help entrepreneurs and innovators take their business ideas and scale them to achieve their dreams. Education is an essential part of this process, and ONE i/e has recently been focusing on educating and lifting up students. Their Start Up Student program includes training for Entrepreneurship and Workforce Development, K-8 Startup Student Curriculum, and Skill Building High School Startup Student Curriculum. They offer a variety of programs for students at all age levels. ONE i/e has also expanded into other regions and is now active nationwide. 

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The Randall Lewis Center for Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Social Impact is the result of a recent partnership between the University of La Verne and NEW Community Investments, an organization dedicated to empowering the economic mobility of traditionally underserved and financially marginalized people groups by facilitating access to capital infusions that support the growth of small businesses. The center will focus on increasing the economic power and impact of University of La Verne students, alumni, regional businesses, non-profits, and community organizations by providing entrepreneurial training to several learning cohorts each year and integrating academic and hands-on approaches to job creation and long-term career support. The center’s special focus will be on Hispanic and other underserved communities in the region, creating opportunities for participants to generate economic momentum in their respective communities.

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