Artificial Intelligence – AI – is here, is everywhere, is leading business and job and education growth in LA’s Creative and Manufacturing economy as elsewhere. Education, Autonomous Cars, Image Recognition, Moblie Apps, Data Analysis . . . Speakers from Honda, IBM, Netflix, UC Berkeley and USC. Report is posted on our Tech Corner page here.
Luckily for the Verdugo Workforce Development Board nominating committee, WIOA does not require members to have experience in a majority of the Board’s areas of service and responsibility: public and private sectors, business, labor, individual job seekers, and fostering career pathways in public schools. But if it did, Debbie Kukta would more than qualify, with a resume that includes more than 25 years in manufacturing, seven years on the Burbank school board, work as a CPA and managing commercial real estate, and since 2012, serving as the Burbank City Treasurer.
Kukta, who started her service on the VWDB in 1999, did not set out on a clearly defined career path toward chairing the VWDB, nor did she aim to become City Treasurer. “I would never have imagined handling all those investments!” Kukta told me when we met recently for breakfast. But she appreciates how her variety of experience, combined with a willingness to take on new challenges, paved the way to her current responsibilities.
So far in 2017, Verdugo Job Center staff have participated in the City of Glendale’s resource street fair for the senior citizen’s called Senior Street Fair – and, on two occasions, in the Glendale adult school’s Garfield campus Resource Fairs.
The Valley Economic Alliance hosted a technology event, Tech-X, and expo, showcasing many innovative local businesses. The morning event featured a presentation on Cybersecurity preparedness for businesses by Kroll. Also presenting were a local company, AllTemp, that produces refrigerant that is cost-effective and better for the environment, and a digital-age marketing firm, FanConnect, that is helping businesses thrive in the mobile and social media connected world of today. The biggest crowd-pleasing presentation, though, came from a group of local high school girls, San Fernando High, who have invented a solar powered tent-home for the homeless.
The VWDB’s Verdugo Job Center partnered with the City of Burbank and brought our veterans, the public, and local industries together for a job fair on March 16. The feedback was very positive from all corners, and follow-up will be ongoing. We will use this job fair as another springboard to expand our networking strategies with our entire region.