Wake up Clovis: CCC partnering with the community to prepare area workforce

Executive Director & CEO of Clovis Chamber of Commerce; Greg Newman pictured with President of Clovis Community College; Dr Kim E. Armstrong (Photo Clovis Chamber of Commerce)

Jess Gonzalez

March 28, 2024 – With our country’s job market uncertain in many respects, depending on how numbers and trends are interpreted, most sectors are doing their best to get past the employment related fluxes to try and achieve success.

Locally, one way of attempting to cope with the situation is the business community partnering with Clovis Community College to try and meet the needs of both students and area businesses. Both partners benefit; students get real-world tangible job experience while businesses have access to a better trained local workforce.

That was the main point of the talk presented by Dr. Kim Armstrong, president of Clovis Community College, during the monthly meeting of Wake Up Clovis on March 13 at the college campus.

According to Dr. Armstrong, the college is teaching and preparing its over 14,000 students to continue their educational journey at a 4-year institution, after completing their course of studies at CCC.

Or, if they so choose, they can attain instruction and training, along with a certificate of accomplishment, to go out in the world to become part of the workforce and attain gainful employment.

Though some partnerships are already in place, the college is open to more partnerships with the community. “We are still growing as an institution and we’re looking forward to such partnerships—with different businesses and industries,” Dr. Armstrong explained.

A better trained workforce is more attractive

Being able to better prepare the local workforce is something that can benefit the community in many ways. Industries looking to possibly establish factories in our area are going to be much more inclined to come to the Clovis area if there is a well-trained workforce that can provide benefit to a company immediately. A lack of a well-trained local workforce makes many companies look elsewhere in their search to find the best place to root their business or industry.

Of course, as business and industry grow, the city would benefit from an increased income from taxes. In turn, residents would benefit from the city being better able to provide improved municipal services and increased employment opportunities.

Settling for Plan B…or C

Studies across the country have shown students can get degrees in a certain studies, but if there are no employment opportunities available for them where the educational institution is located, they end up either moving or working outside of their area of studies. That usually means lower financial compensation for such graduates. There are many stories of degree-holding, highly educated waiters, and waitresses not being able to attain employment in their area of studies.

Please be patient with us…we’re still growing

In talking about the growth of her institution, the popular educator smiled as she alluded to the new state of the art facility presently being built on the north campus. The $70 million dollar facility will add approximately 66,000 square feet of teaching space and will feature an array of  rooms for science labs, a professional recording music studio, a computer lab, a science lecture hall, study space and labs and classrooms to support many other studies taught at the college. It’s grand opening will be this summer.

For the sports enthusiasts, Dr. Kim responded to a question by saying her administration and the State Center Community College District, of which Clovis Community College is a member, are looking into the costs of constructing facilities for the school to grow its sports program by adding major sports to its athletic program, such as football and baseball.

In similar manner as we, as individuals, work at being perceived when we step out the door from our homes, businesses, organizations, and educational institutions also work at being viewed as being positive entities by the public they serve.

That was one of the main points communicated by Dr. Kim Armstrong, president of Clovis Community College, to all present at the monthly Wake Up Clovis breakfast meeting, sponsored by of the Clovis Chamber of Commerce, at the college on Wednesday, March 13.

Dr. Armstrong’s talk, before members of the Clovis business community, was to inform on how her educational institution “is shaping the workforce of tomorrow to benefit our local business community.”   And, yes, she did in fact address that important topic. Yet, as she has done in other recent public appearances, she was also selling a positive perception of the college to the people listening to her.

As an example, she mentioned that Clovis Community College, while being a 2-year community college, should not be called Clovis Junior College.

As part of the State Center Community College District—that also includes Fresno City College, Reedley College, and Madera Community College—Clovis Community College is the proper name of the educational institution.

Is the name difference important? Apparently so or Dr. Armstrong would not have mentioned it. Yet, it would  appear not to make a difference to the public in general.

With either name, the business of educating students is going on at the college.  But the perception that wants to be projected is that of Clovis Community College.  Does it seem more sophisticated? Perhaps. So, Clovis Community College it is. Let’s be clear, an image or perception, is part of doing business everywhere in life.

Having a positive image is important and goes a long way to “selling” oneself.