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County Education buys downtown Bee building
SCOE partners with the Opportunity Stanislaus
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The Stanislaus County Office of Education announced last week the purchase of the 155,000-sq.-ft. Modesto Bee building on H Street in downtown Modesto, as well as the beginning of a new partnership with Opportunity Stanislaus that will provide much-needed training, certification and preparation for jobs requested by employers in Stanislaus County.

"The 1100 H Street facility is overcrowded and overused at this point in time," said Stanislaus County Superintendent of Schools Tom Changnon. "The purchase of The Modesto Bee building will provide much needed space for innovative programs, additional meeting rooms and 230 parking spaces. In addition, it will allow us to begin this exciting partnership with Opportunity Stanislaus that will benefit community members looking for training and certifications for jobs. It's a win-win situation. Our local businesses have been telling us they need employees trained in specific job skill areas, and we have heard them and are taking the lead in making that happen."

Following the approval of the County Board to purchase the Bee building, located at 1325 H Street, staff from SCOE and Opportunity Stanislaus plan to move to this facility, where the trainings and certification programs will take place.

"This is an outstanding opportunity for the business community and educational community to come together to provide timely and business-driven training to the workforce," said Opportunity Stanislaus CEO Dave White. "Our greatest asset in Stanislaus County is our people, and we look forward to working with SCOE to improve the skill base of our workforce."

Formerly known as the Stanislaus Business Alliance, Opportunity Stanislaus is dedicated to serving the business needs of Stanislaus County, whether it is providing resources to local employers looking to expand, preparing skilled workers, or attracting outside investors.

Through its partnership with SCOE, Opportunity Stanislaus will provide training, certification and preparation for jobs needed by Stanislaus County employers. These programs will take advantage of industry training modules aligned with certification, and they are designed to be flexible to respond quickly to new needs from local industries. To best meet the needs of the county, White said that Opportunity Stanislaus went out and asked local employers what they wanted to see.

"We have the heartbeat of the business community behind us and first and foremost they wanted workforce development," said White.
With the first focus being machinery maintenance and mechanics, White said that the partnership will provide training over the course of 15 weeks. Throughout the course of the program, participants will receive foundational and basic training, as well as training that is specific to a particular industry.

"The idea is to produce really good candidates who are specifically trained for employers' needs," said White.
White said that he hopes to serve about 50 people during the first year of the program, however, the partnership's ultimate goal is to accommodate as many as 500 people per year.