LBCC rolls out initiative to connect students with employers

The Center for Community and Industry Partnerships will ‘bridge’ connection with education and workforce.


Photos by Denny Cristales | Signal Tribune

During a press conference Tuesday, April 23, at Long Beach City College’s Liberal Arts Campus, the school’s superintendent-president, Reagan Romali, addressed the crowd of local residents and officials about the Center for Community and Industry Partnerships initiative. The program will link students and employers.

In an attempt to connect Long Beach City College (LBCC) students and local employers, officials introduced the Center for Community and Industry Partnerships initiative Tuesday, April 23, during a press conference at the college’s Liberal Arts Campus.

According to the college in a press release this week, more than 50 businesses, community organizations, municipalities and government offices signed on to be future employers and mentors of LBCC students– who will be able to use the resource to connect with those in the workforce.

“We don’t need to look too far to find a glimpse as to why the center is so important,” said Reagan Romali, LBCC superintendent-president. “It’ll be a future filled with a cross section of professionals, mentors, LBCC alumni, scholarship donors and student interns. Interns, as we know, are essentials in a bridge that joins education with the workforce.”

Mario Cordero, Port of Long Beach executive director, said during the event that the port has recently been emphasizing the need to increase the accessibility of internships, adding that the terminal has been connecting youth into the workforce with scholarships as far back as 1993.

Denny Cristales | Signal Tribune
Mario Cordero, executive director of the Port of Long Beach, spoke to residents Tuesday, April 23, about the port’s role in offering job opportunities for students.

“We have the absolute responsibility and the duty that the next generation knows where these jobs are,” Cordero said. “And in the supply chain, in the supply in the maritime industry and the ports, there are jobs.”

Sunny Zia, LBCC District Board of Trustees president, said the presence of “community partners” at the press conference was an indication of “how deeply they care” about students and the future.

Sunny Zia, Long Beach City College District Board of Trustees president, said the Center for Community and Industry Partnerships– introduced to the college Tuesday during a press conference– will provide students “incredible opportunities” to enter the workforce.

“This groundbreaking initiative will provide students incredible opportunities to become successful through these key aspects of the Center for Community and Industry Partnerships,” she said.
LBCC officials stated this week that the center has access to the following:

Career opportunities– which includes advertising job openings and job fairs
Internships– something that will provide “hands-on experience, which furthers [student] knowledge and helps them prepare for a career”
Scholarships– which may reduce the cost of education for students
Advisory committees– which are used across the Long Beach Community College District as a way to connect educational programs to experts in the local community
Career exposure– where community partners can provide education and career exposure to students by participating in or offering lectures, field trips, interviews, job shadowing,etc.

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia said the college and city officials have attempted over the years to increase the accessibility of internships and employment, as mentioned by Cordero. Garcia said Tuesday’s introduction of the initiative was a “culmination” of officials’ efforts for students.

“And I really believe that this new center is going to be the model center in this community to connect people to jobs and connecting our students to the jobs of the future,” Garcia said. “And so I think there’s an opportunity for all of our businesses, our nonprofits, our municipalities to connect with the college.”

During Tuesday’s conference at Long Beach City College, Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia stressed the importance of internships and their role in helping students developing experience.

Romali also emphasized not only the need for education and accessibility, but the need for real-world experience for young individuals.

“What our students experience beyond the classroom is experience that is just as valuable as the degree that they’re earning,” Romali said. “And that’s why we’ve asked you to join us here today. I want each of you to envision becoming a teacher in a classroom without walls– where you can help shape a future through your knowledge, your experience and perhaps your philanthropy.”

Visit for more information about Long Beach City College’s Center for Community and Industry Partnerships Initiative. To sign on and join the Center for Community and Industry Partnerships, contact Marcia Parker, LBCC senior director of Community Relations and Academic Partnerships, at (562) 938-5007.