But before I begin my remarks, I’d like to thank,
once again, the Assemblyman, for his continued support of Bakersfield College and its mission.
I’d also like to thank all the faculty and staff, who serve as the rudder, behind
this machine called Bakersfield College. And also, all of our community partners,
the dignitaries who are here, and our partners in high schools, Wasco high and
McFarland high school Early College. Now, several months ago, I wrote a piece for The
Californian, inviting readers to imagine Kern County’s future, if we did bold,
innovative, results driven, investments in education today. The reason for that
piece was because I was inspired by a report that was issued by the Brookings
Institute that said forty-seven percent of jobs, in the metropolitan Bakersfield
area, were subject to automation. And, up to 90 percent of jobs in the production
industry, would be subjecte automation. So, what does that mean? When you think
about Kern County’s economy, and the AG industry, the oil and gas industry,
logistics and marketing, at work, marketing a fruit, packaging, and things
like that those, are the jobs that this report is talking about. So, I asked the
public to join me in imagining Kern’s future if we made wise investments today. On the flip side, I also asked that we imagine Kern County’s future, if we did
nothing. Today we’re recognizing, not just some
additional funds, but we want to, again, thank Assemblyman Salas, because he
joined us in imagining Kern’s County’s future. And, just didn’t think about it,
but he moved with action and delivered the necessary funds to help Kern County
stay competitive, now, and for years to come. Dr. Christian mentioned Moises, I
had an opportunity to meet him and his father yesterday, we spent some time
talking, and I was inspired by their story. You have a young man, who had been
out of high school for a couple of years, jumped back into college, was fearful and
apprehensive about whether or not he’d be successful, is now on a program, and is
getting exceptional grades. He’s got hopes, he’s got dreams, he’s got
aspirations, but he’s got something that a lot of people were lacking today which
is work ethic. And, it’s his time in the fields, he doesn’t look down on his time
there, it’s not something that he feels demeaned by doing, because he’s developing
a work ethic that’s gonna take him far beyond college, into a career, where he’ll
be very successful. And so, when we think about the investment today, a million
dollars is a lot of money. But, when you think about the compounding effect of
that million dollars, and what it’s going to do to our economy, and our future, it’s
huge. Because this money is going to be used, to help students like Moises, reach
that first rung, second rung of the ladder, towards prosperity. And, because of
the support of folks like you, and Assemblymember Salas, and our community
partners, students like Moises will be able to reach out for that first, second
rung on the ladder towards prosperity, you know, that’s somebody’s behind them. So,
with that, thank you again, Assemblyman Salas, and thank you for all
of your hard work, and thank all of you for your help and support, and helping
make Bakersfield College an exceptional institution of higher learning, thank you. [audience applauding]