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August 4, 2020

top view of hands looking at data charts

This is a critical moment for America. A global pandemic has devastated our communities, disproportionately impacting people of color and others that have long been marginalized. Our troubled history of racial injustice has been laid bare. What’s more, over 42 million people have filed for unemployment, millions fear for their livelihoods and all are looking ahead to an incredibly uncertain future. Supporting our workers is more important, say it with us, now more than ever.

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to anticipate and predict changes in the labor market. The rapid pace at which jobs are evolving and shifts in the way people are preparing for them makes it difficult to develop responsive, on-demand services that meet the unique needs of learners and workers.

The San Diego Workforce Partnership is partnering with Jobs for the Future (JFF) and on their new Outcomes for Opportunity Initiative (O4Oi)—which is part of Grow with Google’s announcement of new Google Career Certificates and their efforts to provide new, accessible job training solutions.

O4Oi is a two-year pilot to enable workforce boards, job centers and nonprofit job training providers to make data actionable, enhance programs and improve outcomes for underrepresented Americans.

“As our world continues to change, so too have our expectations related to learning and work,” says Josh Copus, Director of JFF. The San Diego Workforce Partnership will lead the workforce development community in its efforts to expand the economic and social benefits of job training. Our approach puts community needs first and allows local workforce organizations to lead the way in designing and building solutions that address those needs through improved use of data.”

O4Oi represents an investment to build data capacity and achieve greater impact through the workforce system. A key component of this work focuses on increasing workforce and job training professionals’ data capabilities to stay ahead of emerging trends and pinpoint the most impactful programs and supports.

“If we truly want to foster economic mobility, what we measure matters,” says Brooke Valle, Workforce Partnership Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer. “This requires a hard but critical shift from outputs to outcomes, which is only possible when we put user needs at the center of our data collection and program design. This new partnership with JFF and will provide us the approaches to data and analytics and the power of technology needed to do just that.”

O4Oi will increase the availability, accessibility, aggregation and analysis of data and information as a means of improving economic opportunity for workers in San Diego County and across the nation. This people-centric approach will enable workforce professionals to put user needs at the center of data collection, product development and system design. The end result will be co-created data products that solve universal problems for the workforce development and job training field.

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