Essential Elements, public and private policy series returns in November

From West Hills College

West Hills Community College District’s premier public and private policy series, Essential Elements, will continue on Nov. 2 and 3 with the fifth session in the series, Powering Sustainable Economic Development for the San Joaquin Valley.

This two-day long session will explore water, food, energy, goods movement, and the regional economy. The session will encourage collaboration and explore the idea of career and technical education powering sustainable economic development, with the goal of creating high wage, high rigor employment in the San Joaquin Valley.

“Global needs require Central Valley responses,” said Dr. Stuart Van Horn, Interim President at West Hills College Coalinga. “This is what Essential Elements is all about. It enables state and regional leaders to collaborate and find and take action steps for the San Joaquin Valley’s sustainability.”

This year’s session will be, for the first time in the history of the series, a two-day long event and will feature a variety of speakers, panels and special presentations.

Speakers this year include: Karen Ross, Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture; Glenda Humiston, Vice President of the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources; Jim Mayer, President and Chief Executive Officer of California Forward; Catherine Sandoval of the California Public Utilities Commission; Scott Campbell, Vice President of the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning; and Micheal McIntyre, President and Chief Operating Officer of AcademyOne, Inc.

Panels will be offered on topics including agriculture technology, job growth and training a field-ready workforce. Panelists will include West Hills College students, experts from throughout the field of agriculture technology, state and regional leaders and business leaders from across the state.

The session will also include a special presentation on AgForHire, an app developed by West Hills College Coalinga student Alex Avalos, and a live teaching demonstration and reception at the WHCC Farm of the Future.Day two of the session will involve the Central Valley Slingshot Consortium Prior Learning Assessment Initiative, an unprecedented joint venture of 13 community colleges, state workforce development programs, schools and universities, labor, and the private sector that encourages job growth and collaboration.

Tickets are available now for this unique two-day event. To register or for more information about the event, visit

For questions, contact Kathy Finster at or 559-934-2141. 

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