New partnership aims to inspire youth to pursue careers in technology


Dean of Community Advancement Jose Anaya gives a presentation about a new partnership with national research institute NextFlex on Monday, Nov. 18. The partnership, which is set to launch in Spring 2020, will aim to inspire young people to pursue careers in technology. Giselle Morales/The Union

El Camino College officials are in the process of forming a partnership with a national research institute that aims to inspire young students, starting at the high school level, to pursue careers in technology, officials said.

Dean of Community Advancement Jose Anaya gave a presentation on the latest partnership with NextFlex, a national research institute focused on developing hybrid flexible technology, during the Board of Trustees meeting on Monday, Nov. 18.

Along with the Boeing Corporation, Centinela Valley Union High School District and Inglewood Unified School District, ECC will join NextFlex’s pilot program set to launch in Spring 2020, Anaya said.

The process of inspiring young people to pursue careers in technology will begin at the high school level with instructors integrating FlexFactor into class learning objectives, according to the powerpoint presentation presented by Anaya during the meeting.

FlexFactor is a program that was developed by NextFlex to attract young people into careers in technology, Anaya said.

“We’re hoping that we capture and inspire young people to look at careers in technology and make their way to El Camino College; it’s an opportunity for them to explore careers and we help them along their journey,” Anaya said.

At the industry level, the Boeing Corporation would conduct engagement day tours and help facilitate student awareness in careers at Boeing, Anaya said.

Student Trustee Lindsey Lee said that she thought the partnership with NextFlex will be great because it will help prepare students for the workforce.

“El Camino’s duty is not just our campus, it’s the whole district’s campus and to serve those students, even the high school students, is a great mindset and a great community for where [ECC] wants to be placed,” Lee said.

ECC President Dena Maloney said that she was thrilled about the partnership due to the fact that the aerospace industry is facing workforce shortages.

“I realize it’s very important to our students for employment and it’s very important to our companies for economic growth and it’s very important to the college that we’re seen as a solution to this workforce dilemma that we’re facing,” Maloney said.

Maloney added that the Board of Trustees might follow up with how many students were trained through the program.

She also added that aerospace industry jobs need a pipeline and community colleges are the source to prepare students for those opportunities.