California’s economy is the fifth largest in the world—but one in four Californians lives at or near poverty. A world-class workforce development system can help people build in-demand skills and connect them to growing businesses.
To close California’s economic divide and grow the state’s economy, we must invest in innovative education and training strategies that give all of California’s workers and businesses the skills they need to compete in the economy. That’s why 40 organizations, including the San Diego Workforce Partnership, have joined National Skills Coalition to urge governor-elect Gavin Newsom to prioritize skills through job training and career education. The policy agenda, Securing a strong economic future for all Californians, lays out nine strategies for developing a world-class workforce development system:
- Create a cross-Secretariat Governor’s Workforce and Economic Mobility Cabinet to ensure that public investments in workforce development put workers on pathways to good jobs and work in tandem with other economic mobility strategies.
- Develop and fund data systems that work across the state’s workforce, education, human services and corrections systems, along with publicly available data tools that can be used to guide decision-making.
- Support an infrastructure of community-based organizations capable of expanding high-quality, industry-based job training and support services.
- Provide dedicated resources to cover the non-training costs of postsecondary education and training so that more low-income Californians can build in-demand skills.
- Invest in industry-led sector partnerships so that businesses, labor, education, workforce, and community partners are aligning training with industry skill needs.
- Seed and spread new innovations for removing barriers to work for Californians exiting incarceration, homelessness, or overcoming other significant challenges.
- Develop public-private partnerships with employers to increase training for low-wage frontline workers in the changing economy.
- Expand apprenticeship to new industries and new workers while also creating new opportunities for paid work-based learning.
- Train more Californians to build and maintain the state’s next generation of infrastructure.
California’s economy is at a crossroads. California’s policy leaders can secure an economic future that works for all of California by investing in the state’s greatest asset: its people.
A stable, well-paying job is a top priority for Californians who struggle to make ends meet. Meanwhile, a skilled and diverse workforce is a key asset to California companies competing in the global marketplace. A world-class workforce development system that helps more workers build in-demand skills and connect to good jobs can support the economic aspirations of Californians while boosting the capacity of the state’s businesses.