The San Diego CITD, Deputy Sector Navigator for Global Trade and Logistics (DSNGTL), Deputy Sector Navigator for Advanced Manufacturing, and SB1070 CTE Regional Pathways organized a professional development day for teachers interested in better understanding manufacturing and global trade in the local region, and looking for ways to bring these concepts to their classrooms. Participants included teachers and workforce development professionals from Mesa College, San Marcos High School, San Diego Met High School, GUHSD, Chula Vista High School, SD City College Centers for Applied Competitive Technologies, San Diego County office of Education and Junior Achievement.

The event began with a visit to the MEXPORT trade show, which focuses on manufacturing and global trade in the Southern California/Baja California region. MEXPORT is the premier industrial trade show in the Cali-Baja region that promotes manufacturing and trade opportunities. Teachers participating in this professional development activity were provided with a handout to use as a guide on how to get the best out of their participation in the trade show, including sample questions to ask exhibitors related to career opportunities in their field and the education/training needed to be successful. After walking the trade show floor and interacting with exhibitors, the group left to take a tour of a local manufacturer, Jabil Packaging Solutions, where they learned about Jabil’s manufacturing facility in San Diego; what products they make, industries they serve and their diverse suite of manufacturing technologies, including insert molding in-mold decoration, high-precision mold manufacturing, die-cutting solutions, computer numerical control (CNC) processes, computer assisted design (CAD), build-to-order/configure-to-order anodizing over molding (EXO), plastic insert molding, and automation, among others.

During a presentation by Jabil’s HR department, the group learned that there is a gap in manufacturing technology jobs and that these occupations have higher wages than a lot of professional occupations because they are so scarce. Companies like Jabil need support from teachers to promote these type of jobs. Some of the education and skills required are: high school diploma, mechanically inclined, math, reading, geometry, and trigonometry. In the case of Jabil, the company will certify employees as long as they commit to a 4-year program.

Resources shared with participants throughout the day included: an overview of regional manufacturing labor market information, regional website with curriculum for advanced manufacturing and global trade & logistics, events and work based learning activities, opportunities for high schools integrating careers across job sectors and regional event offerings for teachers and students.

This event was featured in the San Diego County College and Career Readiness Consortium April Newsletter: