This Week at City Hall - Mayor Swearengin Launches Learn2Earn
04/16/2012
Adult Education Initiative To Help City Address Economic Challenges
 
Did you know that even with our area’s double-digit unemployment, a 2010 Fresno Regional Workforce Board study found that there are almost 6,000 jobs available because companies can’t find qualified workers?
 
That’s because the Fresno area suffers from a “skills gap” – the skills of our workers don’t match the skills required for the jobs that are open.  To close that gap, Mayor Swearengin on Monday launched the Learn2Earn adult education initiative, a public awareness campaign aimed at removing the obstacles for Fresno adults looking to obtain more education or gain additional skills for the changing workplace.
 
“For many adults who want to return to school or get more job training, working their way through the maze of available adult education and training resources can be a daunting and frustrating task,” Mayor Swearengin said.  “This initiative provides a simple way to get through that maze.  With one phone call, they will be able to reach an advisor who can help them map out an education plan and get them into a program that is a good fit.”
 
Adults looking to participate in the program should call 211, where they will talk with a Learn2Earn agent and participate in a brief survey.  After completing the survey, the agent will transfer the caller to an education advisor, who will review the survey and conduct an initial screening to help assess educational goals and develop an education plan. 
 
The advisor then will provide the adult with a personal introduction to an academic advisor at one or more educational institutions that are best suited for the individual.  The participant’s information will be placed in a database shared by all the adult education providers to track where students are in the pipeline.
 
Mayor Swearengin said the City’s economic growth depends on preparing a skilled, qualified workforce for local businesses, so the Learn2Earn initiative has the potential to provide a lasting impact.
 
A news release with more information on Learn2Earn is available here.
 
For more information, visit the Learn2Earn website at www.learn2earnfresno.org.
 
It’s Local Bites Week!
 
On Wednesday, April 18, Local Bites will be held at Taj of India at 4368 W. Shaw starting at 6 p.m.  Local Bites is a partnership between the City of Fresno and Taste Fresno to encourage Fresno residents to support locally owned restaurants.
 
Please feel free to join Mayor Swearengin at the dinner – or plan to eat at a locally owned restaurant at least once a month to help our local economy. If you’re planning to join Mayor Swearengin, just remember – when it comes to the bill, you’re on your own!
 
All of the dates and additional information on the Local Bite Night schedule is posted on the Taste Fresno website at www.TasteFresno.com/localbites. For a great list of locally owned restaurants, see the City of Fresno’s Local Business Directory or go to www.FresnoLocalBiz.com.
 
Federal Team to Visit Fresno to Discuss Strong Cities, Strong Communities Program
 
Representatives from a number of federal agencies will be visiting Fresno this week to meet with Mayor Swearengin, City staff and other partners to assess the progress of the Strong Cities, Strong Communities initiative and review objectives for the next six months.
 
Federal agencies represented during the three-day visit will be the Environmental Protection Agency; the departments of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, Agriculture, Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education; the Small Business Administration; and the Economic Development Administration.
 
The federal team will meet with City officials on issues such as downtown and neighborhood revitalization, high-speed rail, Bus Rapid Transit, and homelessness.
 
Fresno was one of only six cities nationwide to be selected to participate in the Strong Cities, Strong Communities initiative, an effort to enhance economic growth in local communities.  The other cities are Chester, PA; Cleveland, OH; Detroit, Mich.; Memphis, TN; and New Orleans, LA.
 
Mayor Swearengin’s Activities
 
While some of these activities outlined below are not public meetings, these are some of the issues being addressed this week by Mayor Swearengin:
  • Participating in a meeting of the Downtown Fresno Partnership (formerly the PBID Partners of Downtown Fresno) board of directors meeting;
  • Speaking at a reception for winners of the HandsOn Central California Volunteer of the Year awards and at the Fresno-Clovis Prayer Breakfast.
Council to Review, Select Preferred Alternative for General Plan
 
City Council on Thursday will review and consider a preferred alternative for the preparation of the 2035 General Plan Update.
 
Following 18 Citizen Advisory Committee meetings, as well as 14 community public information meetings and Planning Commission briefings, four conceptual alternatives were presented to the Advisory Committee and the Fresno City Planning Commission for consideration and selection of a preferred alternative.  In addition to the four alternatives prepared by the City’s planning team, a fifth alternative presented by the Building Industry Association of Fresno-Madera Counties was considered.
 
The Fresno Planning Commission recommended the selection of Alternative “A” as the preferred alternative.  Alternative “A” envisions approximately 39,000 dwelling units in infill areas, Downtown, and focused around mixed use nodes on the corridors of Blackstone, Ventura-Kings Canyon, Shaw and Herndon and 37,000 dwelling units planned for the growth areas.
 
More information on the agenda item is available at here.
 
‘Go Green and Clean’ at Roeding Park
 
The “Go Green and Clean” park beautification program will be held at Roeding Park, 890 W. Belmont, on Saturday, April 21, from 8 a.m. to noon.
 
In the program, volunteers participate in basic park care through litter removal, flower bed raking, pruning, painting, graffiti removal and other light tasks from 8 a.m. to noon.
 
Volunteers are encouraged to wear long pants, hats, gloves and sun block and bring plenty of drinking water. Basic work tools and supplies will be provided by the City of Fresno.  Each volunteer will be required to complete a volunteer form and waiver.

This Week’s Meetings
 
Here are city-related meetings this week:
  • Planning Commission, Council Chambers, Wednesday, April 18, 6 p.m.
  • Fresno City Council, Council Chambers, Thursday, April 19, 8:30 a.m.
  • General Plan: Preferred Conceptual Plan, Council Chambers, Thursday, April 19, 5 p.m.
Follow Mayor Swearengin, City of Fresno on Twitter
 
For up-to-date information on happenings related to the City of Fresno, follow Mayor Swearengin on Twitter @MayorSwearengin or the City of Fresno @CityofFresno.