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April 18, 2019

On April 17, business-facing workforce professionals in the Southern Border Region of San Diego came together for the second convening of the Business Services Collaborative. The event aims to gather community members for quarterly professional development trainings and to build a coordinated approach to business engagement. The group welcomes all business services representatives, consultants, job developers, managers and individuals from many similar programs and organizations across the region.

Here are the member benefits and commitments:

  • Quarterly professional development events​
  • Attend (or send representative from your organization) to quarterly meetings​
  • Peer learning and networking​
  • Volunteer for working groups when topics are aligned to interests/expertise​
  • Free access to Partner Portal (Salesforce) to share best practices, refer vetted clients and gain greater exposure for job openings ​
  • Sign onto the BSC MOU which outlines how we will collaborate​
  • Early access to labor market information and accompanying collateral​
  • Be an active participant in the portal (once launched) ​
  • Access to completed landscape study​
  • Think outside of the box—diverse voices and creative choices​
  • Online services directory (post-landscape study)​
  • Market penetration data​
  • Participation in future grant pursuits​



During the meeting, representatives from more than 30 organizations enjoyed a professional development training session and engage in meaningful discussion around building an ecosystem of business services in our region.

Here are some takeaways:

Research on priority jobs might surprise you

men at chartsThe Workforce Partnership’s Director of Research and Evaluation Sarah Burns provided an in-depth look at the future of priority jobs paying $15.99+/hr in the Southern Border Region (San Diego and Imperial counties). While most of those positions do not require formal work experience, 89 percent of respondents required job applicants to have prior experience. What can we do to help employers close the gap? Encourage on-the-job trainings, internship programs and skills-based job descriptions. We suggest Career Coach as a tool to educate your business partners and job seeker clients alike.

Personalize your distribution lists

Our first activity of the day was a live action distribution list. Each organization was asked to write down up to three ideas, events or programs that they wanted to share with the room. Everyone voted for the items they wanted to hear more about and in the process, we were able to connect and learn about opportunities that might otherwise go unheard of. Having this in-person dialogue helps us build personal connections to our distribution lists and helps to match a name to a face for future communications.

Holistic Business Services

Business Services collaborative

The last activity of the day helped members share resources and best practices when it comes to serving the business community. Each table was given an avatar representing a real business with workforce needs and each person was asked how they might serve the client. This provided a unique opportunity for us to learn about each other’s processes and tactics—speaking to the heart of why this collaborative was formed in the first place. The answers were eye opening and the information shared will help to push along our vision for the collaborative.

The event wrapped up with calls to action, event sharing, hard-to-fill jobs and upcoming projects. The next Business Services Collaborative will convene in July and will focus on a Landscape Study of all Business Services in San Diego County and the unveiling of our Partner Portal.

If you’d like to get involved, please email

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