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Santa Clarita CA
Today in
S.C.V. History
October 21-22
2007 - Buckweed fire chars 38,356 acres, destroys 21 homes in Canyon Country and Agua Dulce [story]
Buckweed Fire

The Valley Industry Association is hosting the 2020 CEO Forum on Zoom on September 29, 2020, featuring the Santa Clarita Valley’s top executives and decision-makers who will collaborate to identify common business and community issues, while developing solutions.

The VIA Advocacy Committee has recently surveyed the local business community and based on those results, invites leaders to a high-level collaboration and problem-solving session.

The event will be on Tuesday, September 29, 2020 from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Zoom. Tickets cost $20.20 per person; to RSVP, head to via.org/calendar.

Discussion topics for this year’s forum include:

The Split Roll ballot measure, which Californians will vote on November 3. The measure is aimed at rolling back many of the protections of Proposition 13 and increase taxes on business properties in the state.

Ideas to assist businesses in recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Continuing discussions from the 2019 CEO Forum on the difference in younger generation workforce attitudes and how those realities have been affected by Covid-19 work-from-home requirements.

VIA CEO Forums have consistently resulted in highly desirable programs, special events, partnerships, and better success for businesses.

VIA has been privileged to enjoy the support of the Santa Clarita Valley’s CEOs for many years. They invite the community to take a moment to review some of the history of the VIA CEO Forums, and to gain some insight into the programs and projects that have developed out of Forums over the years.

In 1995, VIA sponsored its first CEO Forum, bringing together chief executives, community leaders, and educators to discuss the business community’s training needs and workforce plans. At that gathering, CEOs emphasized the need to re-engineer and re-tool the local workforce if they were to be successful in diversifying from defense to commercial manufacturing, and in expanding to new markets.

As a result, the Valley Industrial Association and College of the Canyons began working together to fund a “retraining” initiative in the SCV and the Valencia Learning Center was born. Today, it is known as the Employee Training Institute. An Employment Training Panel project was developed by COC and through that program, millions of dollars in training funds to support skill upgrade training have been provided to thousands of employees in the SCV.

In 1999, a similar group met to focus on key skills for success in the rapidly changing economy. Top priorities identified at that Forum included problem-solving and team skills. In response, VIA developed the Valley Industrial Association Website Contest, an annual competition that ran for five years for K–12 students. Students worked with a local company partner to build websites for their partner, many of which were adopted and incorporated by SCV businesses.

Our third CEO Forum was held in 2002. This time, an overwhelming need emerged for entry-level employees to have “Basic Business Conduct” skills. Students entering the workforce needed to be better equipped with fundamental skills and work ethics. Through this event, VIA built a program based on curriculum covering communication, ethics and team-building skills, and the “Connecting to Success” program was born.

In 2004, the Forum indicated a clear goal of local business to develop outreach to our adjacent counties and resulted in the creation a tri-county Regional Executive Summit with special focuses on workforce housing and mobility. Additionally, recent economic challenges evolved the Summit into the subsequent return of the VIA B2B Industry Show.

In 2009, CEOs unanimously indicated that basic skills and access to a skilled workforce were top priorities. VIA took that information to heart and grew the Connecting to Success Program to include all seven area high schools – we’ll train more than 4000 high school sophomores in the Spring of 2021. As well, we continue to support the business initiatives of College of the Canyons to help ensure a steady supply of skilled workers for our valley.

From information about this event or VIA, call (661) 294-8088, email Kathy Norris at kathy@via.org, or visit via.org.

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