The MCA Foundation has partnered with the EPISD and various workforce agencies to prepare our regional workforce for an emerging high-tech biomedical industry.
With an ultimate goal of developing an advanced biomanufacturing training facility at Jefferson High School and Maxine Silva Health Magnet School, the MCA is launching a workforce initiative aimed at properly planning for the region’s high-tech workforce needs. The vision is to create a curriculum that will offer dual credits El Paso Community College and technical certifications in advanced manufacturing and biomanufacturing, addressing the problem of skill shortages to meet the need of existing and emerging industries in the region.
The Silva Health Magnet School shares space with Jefferson High School, and both schools will be undergoing a major transformation, thanks to a $36 million bond allocation from El Paso’s 2016 bond election.
The MCA is advocating for EPISD to transform the Jefferson - Silva campus into an integrated medical professionals/occupations high school. MCA will continue to move this concept forward with EPISD, Jefferson - Silva, local education-related nonprofits, community leaders, MCA campus partners, students, parents, teachers, and others.
In 2017, the MCA partnered with Workforce Solutions Borderplex—the area’s public workforce system—and the Borderplex Alliance, a nonprofit economic development organization, to conduct a skills gap analysis for the advanced manufacturing and life sciences industries, with a focus on the medical device industry cluster.
The purpose of this assessment was to identify skills gaps and talent needs in these high-growth industries. Together, the manufacturing and life sciences sectors employ more than 56,000 workers, making up nearly 15 percent of total employment in El Paso County. Although both industries are expected to continue growing, employers are having difficulty hiring and finding talent to fill critical positions.
The report addresses these workforce challenges by providing industry snapshots and the following strategic recommendations for improving the region’s talent pool and workforce:
The analysis, “Assessment of Middle and Advanced Skills: Life Sciences and Advanced Manufacturing” is available for download here.