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Industry Partners Help DVC Prepare Students for the Middle-Skill Jobs of Tomorrow

Dec 1, 2019

The Bay Area will account for 22 percent of California’s middle-skill jobs. That’s according to the Centers of Excellence for Labor Market Research. It’s also expected that the labor force will not be able to meet the needs of this job market within the next three years. Colleges can be armed and ready to face these challenges. The answer is to build strong partnerships with local employers.

What are middle-skill jobs?

Middle-skill jobs are ideal for those with some college or job skill training. A bachelor’s degree is not required. And middle-skill jobs earn more than “middle wages.” Some examples of these career areas include:

  • Art Digital Media
  • Audiovisual Technology
  • Business Accounting
  • Computer Information Systems
  • Construction/Pre-Apprenticeship
  • Culinary Arts
  • Dental Assisting
  • Electrical/Electronics Technology
  • Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, Refrigeration
  • Library Technology
  • Mechanical Technology
  • And many more!

Advisory Board MeetingPreparing students for middle-skill jobs

Diablo Valley College plays a key role in training local workers. Each DVC program is supported by an advisory board. Board members provide input to ensure the program meets local labor needs. These partners may also support students with internships and jobs.

Walter Brown, Jr.Walter Brown, Jr. is the chair of the DVC business advisory board. He is also the principal of WB Lending Solutions / WB Strategies, a financial services consulting firm.

“One of the major roles of the board is giving ‘real world’ feedback
in real-time,” said Brown, Jr.

Brown, Jr. has also supported DVC through an internship program at his company.

“My firm gives students a ‘hands-on’ opportunity to learn. Our interns have been coachable, eager to learn and had good basic skills. They were also growth-oriented, which we value,” said Brown, Jr.

New middle-skill career education programs at DVC

Online Digital Marketing Certificate

Martha LathamThe new DVC digital marketing program prepares students for this growing field. Careers include marketing, social media and more. The program is fully online, making it a good choice for busy students.

The business advisory board played a key role in building the program.

“The board helped identify the skills we needed to focus on. This ensured the program would align with local labor market needs,” said Martha Laham, program lead for business marketing in DVC’s Business Administration Department.

To find out more, visit

Audio Visual Technology

Audio Visual Technology at DVCThe DVC Audiovisual Technology Program teaches the skills needed for this exciting field. Students can obtain an associate degree or certificate of achievement. Students can also prepare for a national exam that will make it easier to find a job.

“Our advisory board has been really helpful. We’ve got Grammy U and AVID, and coming soon are various AV tech companies. The staff have put some great ideas together as well,” said Dr. Nick Vasallo, Director of Music Industry Studies, AV Technology and Commercial Music.

CareerTrek Event at PCD Audio & Video System IntegrationBrooke Cabot and Bill Graham of PCD Audio & Video System Integration have supported the program in a variety of ways. Most recently, they hosted a career trek event at their company. DVC students toured the company and learned about career options. They talked with employees as well as a union representative.

PCD vice president John Rudolph agrees, and notes that students should look for a company that invests in their employees.

“Working in the trades is a great fit for students who want to ‘earn while they learn.’ Audiovisual technology is a growing industry. It offers exciting careers with livable wages,” said Rudolph.

To find out more, visit