Grants Awarded in Initiative to Fill Local Manufacturing Skills Gap

Published April 26, 2016

The Managed Career Pipeline Program Seeks to Develop Regional Skilled Labor as Part of the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership for Southern California

LOS ANGELES, CALIF. – Tuesday morning, the University of Southern California Center for Economic Development (CED) announced the winning proposals for its Managed Career Pipeline Pilot Program, an initiative designed to strategically invest a portion of more than $336,000 in available federal funds toward workforce development. The program is part of the CED-led Advanced Manufacturing Partnership for Southern California (AMP SoCal) collaboration, which is charged with strengthening aerospace and defense manufacturing and its supply chain throughout the southern 10 counties of California.

The Managed Career Pipeline Pilot Program’s goal is to create a steady stream of skilled workers to fill apprenticeships and job vacancies in manufacturing firms that have been adversely affected by reduced Department of Defense procurement and contracting. Community colleges in the four-county Southern California region of Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego and Ventura counties were eligible to apply.

Three different colleges, which include Cerritos College in Norwalk, MiraCosta College in Oceanside and West Los Angeles College (WLAC) in Culver City, submitted winning applications. Each college is partnering with its local workforce development board (WDB) or agency to train unemployed and other WDB eligible candidates for entry-level positions in addition to upgrading skills of incumbent workers. The different areas of focus include a pre-engineering apprenticeship program at WLAC, entry-level welding technician course at MiraCosta’s Technical Career Institute, and an employment pathway that offers three phases of advanced manufacturing training at Cerritos.

“This grant will help colleges connect highly trained workers with hands-on experience to manufacturing companies who need them most,” says Dion Jackson, CED program director and AMP SoCal project lead. “The businesses who are working with their local community colleges on training programs benefit through new hires who already have experience in their business practices. It’s win-win for the manufacturing industry and prospective workers alike.”

AMP SoCal leverages the combined knowledge, innovation and political support of its members. The unique cooperation benefits the communities and businesses dependent on the aerospace and defense industry by fostering job growth, technological advancement, federal funding and more. AMP SoCal has the distinct honor of being among the nation’s first federally designated regions of the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) initiative. An IMCP designation carries the advantage of preferential access to $1.3 billion in Economic Development Administration funding, which has been allocated toward bolstering the economic ecosystem of manufacturing across the country.


About AMP SoCal
The Advanced Manufacturing Partnership of Southern California (AMP SoCal) is a collaboration of government, academia and industry united in the common goal of strengthening the industrial ecosystem for aerospace and defense (A&D) manufacturers throughout the 10-county Southern California region. The Price School-USC Center for Economic Development leads the AMP SoCal effort, in partnership with the City of Los Angeles, and more than 135 companies and organizations. Together the AMP SoCal network leverages the combined knowledge, innovation and support of its members to grow and sustain the A&D industry and its supply chain. To learn more about how AMP SoCal is building a better future for the A&D industry, visit

About the USC Center for Economic Development
The University of Southern California Center for Economic Development (CED) serves as a leader in facilitating sustainable economic development opportunities throughout Southern and Central California. An applied research center of the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy, CED partners with community-based organizations, public agencies and private entities to enhance their functional capacity by tapping the energy, enthusiasm and talent of the school’s faculty, staff and students. For more information, please visit

USC Sol Price School of Public Policy
The USC Sol Price School of Public Policy has defined excellence and innovation in public affairs education since 1929.  Ranked 4th nationwide among 272 schools of public affairs, the Price School is dedicated to teaching and research that advances society through better democratic governance, more effective social policy, and sustainable urban development.  Its graduates shape our world as leaders in government, nonprofit agencies, and the private sector. Through a time-honored commitment to public service, a legacy of strong connections to professional leaders, and a world-renowned research portfolio, the mission of the Price School is to improve the quality of life for people and their communities, here and abroad.