When it comes to learning, nothing beats experience.

That is why the Long Beach Community College District (LBCCD) recently reached out to our local business community to create The Center for Community and Industry Partnerships, an innovative new program created to connect its community college students with local business and community members through a one-stop shop type effort, to assist them with important internships, mentorships, and job opportunities.

In its short existence, the program, which was the joint brainchild of the Long Beach Community College District and the Port of Long Beach, is already proving to be tremendously successful, receiving widespread support and participation.

More than six months ago, the Port of Long Beach, motivated to strengthen its education partnership with the Long Beach Unified School District, Long Beach Community College District, and California State University, Long Beach, became the Long Beach College Promise’s first formal industry partner.

Hoping to better train and prepare the port industry’s next generation of leaders, the Port of Long Beach took their effort even one step further, deciding to strengthen their support by hiring and supporting the College District’s students.

What resulted from a joint brainstorm between the two organizations’ board presidents was the creation of The Center for Community and Industry Partnerships, a groundbreaking initiative that further expands the bond between the two organizations to other agencies and businesses who would like to participate.

The Center for Community and Industry Partnerships provides a number of important benefits for community college students and its local business community partners through:

  • INTERNSHIPS – The Center facilitates invaluable internship opportunities for our LBCCD students. This real life work experience helps students explore various career options, allows them to gain important job related experience, and helps to better prepare them for employment after their education.  At the same time, the program provides employers the opportunity to groom a future workforce in a way that best meets their business needs.
  • MENTORSHIPS – Matching students with local business and community leaders allows them the opportunity to learn and be mentored by folks well experienced in both work and real life. It also allows the students the opportunity to gain important contacts who can be invaluable later during job searches and work challenges.
  • CAREER OPPORTUNITIES – Partners are provided the opportunity to post job openings with the Center, allowing them access to well-educated community college students who have majored in everything from Logistics, Cybersecurity, and Engineering, to Advanced Manufacturing, Transportation Technology and more.
  • Access and Exposure – Members of the Center for Community and Industry Partnerships gain access to a great network of business, agency and industry partners. Members will also receive mass regional and national media exposure for their part in stimulating the local economy, and taking part in investing in the future of the greater Long Beach community.

With participation from a variety of different industries like healthcare, local government, high tech, and non-profit management, The Center for Community and Industry Partnerships already has more than 50 committed local business and community partners.

We are optimistic that The Center for Community and Industry Partnerships will not only have a tangible impact on students’ economic prosperity, but that of our local business community as well and invite any organization who would like to take advantage of this great opportunity to contact the Center and join. For more information contact Marcia Parker at mparker@lbcc.edu.

Sunny Zia is President of the Long Beach Community College District Board of Trustees. President Zia has been serving on the LBCCD Board of Trustees since 2014.