March 16, 2009 by Joshua Wright
Labor market projections from EMSI helped the San Bernardino Community College District land a $2 million Community-Based Job Training Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor that will go toward a Nanotechnology Training Center. The announcement comes on the heels of a $400,000 grant SBCCD was awarded in 2007 from the California Community College’s Chancellor’s Office that helped introduce nanotechnology to incumbent workers such as scientists, executives, and engineers.
The latest grant is a key step in SBCCD’s Applied Technology Training Center (ATTC) meeting the significant demand for skilled nanotechnology workers. Using EMSI’s data, the district showed that the workforce in nanotechnology-related fields is projected to grow 14% (an additional 17,674 jobs) by 2012 in SBCCD’s service area in southern California.
The NanoCenter’s partners include NASA Ames Research Center for Nanotechnology, San Bernardino Valley College, and nearby University of California-Riverside, where most of the hands-on training will occur, according to Albert Maniaol, director of district’s applied technologies training. Together, ATTC and UCR will develop curricula for students to be able to enroll in specialized nanotechnology-related certificate programs and eventually two and four-year programs.
The NanoCenter will serve as a technical resource for all 110 community colleges in California and the state’s manufacturing industries. Futhermore, it will promote nanotech career pathways for high schools students, similar to the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) initiatives across the U.S.
Nanotechnology jobs can be found in nearly every industry, according to Maniaol. “Nanotechnology is an enabling technology,” he says. “It can be applied in biotech, engineering, medicine, etc.”