Educational and business leaders across the Valley joined efforts to learn how they can help the future work force at the first Central Valley Career Technical Education Conference in Clovis.
Lori Morton said, "There's a lot of ways, businesses can engage in our schools and its really great for students to be exposed to what those opportunities and what type of companies there are locally that they might want to pursue as a future career."
Morton is the director of the State Center Consortium, which works to provide educational opportunities for students. She says there is a need for workers in industries like health care, manufacturing and agriculture.
"There's a big skills gap here, across the nation, but also in our Valley," said Morton. "There a lot of jobs that are a lot of jobs available but there aren't folks trained to do those jobs."
That's why building partnerships is so valuable, between schools and businesses. At the conference, participants, like Darrell Tuckness from PPG Industries, learned how their businesses can provide opportunities to help teachers better prepare students for the workforce.
Tuckness said, "It's important to try to build that pipeline of people and educational opportunities here in the Valley so that the kids that are coming up recognize that they are careers, good paying jobs."
And organizers hope the conference will leave schools and businesses with lasting connections that will help the Valley.