Workforce Action Team

Problem Statement

  • Growing shortage of skilled workers for major regional industry sectors
  • Thousands of unemployed and underemployed people, including long-term unemployed
  • Growing competition from other states and countries
  • Fragmented and under-resourced approach to workforce development
  • Prospect of comprehensive immigration reform will result in increased demand for workforce-development services

Goal Statement

  • Prepare people for in-demand and/or high-growth jobs in major industry sectors
  • Prioritize workforce-training resources to support major regional industry sectors
  • Create partnerships between local workforce-investment boards (WIBs), community colleges, economic-development organizations, businesses, and labor


Action Team Co-Leads

  • Alma Salazar, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Van Ton-Quinlivan, California Community Colleges, State Chancellor’s Office

For a full list of Action Team members, click here. For the team’s 2012 accomplishments, see the Summit’s 2013 Year-End Summary Report.

Tracking Progress

Action Team

Goals for the Year

Progress update - September 1, 2015

Priority actions identified in Summit Plan to Advance Prosperity in 2014:

Ensure state funds are spent on career-technical education and workforce development to prepare workers for high-demand fields (including STEM), while also advancing a 'shared investment' approach.

Increase state support for regional sector partnerships to prepare workforce for high-demand fields (including STEM).

Targeted state funding: Money allocated, guidelines adopted, incentives created that include Summit's focus on helping community colleges support needs of regional economies. Executive or legislative action to adopt 'shared investment' approach that provides incentive funding for CTE aligned with regional workforce demand.

Partnerships launched: Launch and/or strengthen at least six partnerships in 2014.

Update - November 17, 2014 Ensuring state support for regional CTE programs: Crediting the Economic Summit for helping lay the foundation for a regions-based approach to supporting the state's community colleges, the California Community Colleges Board of Governors established a new task force with a mandate to make the system even more responsive to the state's economy. The Task Force on Workforce, Job Creation, and a Strong Economy will include a representative from the Summit, as well as leaders from the business community, labor groups, public agencies involved in workforce training, K-12 policy, and community-based organizations. In February 2015, the Task Force will begin holding town hall meetings across the state with elected officials and economic development leaders. The group's mandate is to develop a set of recommendations by the end of summer 2015 that will prepare more students for existing high value jobs and promote job creation through workforce training that sparks small business development and lures out-of-state business investment in key industry sectors. Update - June 16, 2014 Targeted state funding:The 2014-15 state budget includes $50 million for career technical education, acknowledging the high costs of these programs and adopting a new “shared investment” funding model advocated for by the Summit--one that will allocate these funds to regions for further distribution, instead of diffusing them among all community colleges. The budget also emphasizes the role these programs play in connecting workforce training with regional industry. Legislation authored by Asm. Al Muratsuchi (ACR 119) urges lawmakers to address the long-term funding needs of these programs; it was passed without opposition by the Assembly in May. Separately, lawmakers also included $250 million in the budget for the Career Pathways Trust, a work-based learning grant program supported by the Summit. Partnerships launched: A Southern California aerospace consortium supported by the Summit was named one of 12 new “manufacturing communities” by the U.S. Department of Commerce in May—a new federal designation that will make the region’s public/private manufacturing partners eligible for $1.3 billion in federal funds. Update - May 16, 2014 The governor's May Budget Revision includes $50 million specifically for career technical education. It acknowledges the high costs associated with these programs and proposes a new “shared investment” funding model along the lines the Summit has advocated. The budget also emphasizes the vital role these programs play in regional economies, pointing out that CTE programs should be used to “build upon existing regional capacity to better meet regional labor market demands.” The Summit sent a letter to the governor in May (PDF) thanking the administration for its support and emphasizing the importance of the Summit approach. Update - April 5, 2014 Targeted state funding: Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi has introduced several bills to provide incentive funding for CTE (including AB 2216). In March, Sen. Carol Liu also offered to carry a bill on the same issue. The team has submitted testimony to the Assembly education finance budget sub-committee, outlining how these proposals align with the Summit's goals and is finalizing a letter to legislative leadership signed by team members. Partnerships launched: In April, the Summit co-chairs submitted a letter to Matt Erskine, acting U.S. Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development, expressing support for California regions' applications for the Economic Development Administration's Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) designation for manufacturing communities.
Workforce Team's 2013 Action Plan

1. Expand Regional Sector Partnerships to Meet High-Priority Workforce Needs

A. Prioritize regional and local workforce development funding to prepare people for high-growth jobs and careers in major sectors of California's regional economies.

B. Expand the use of regionally specific ""sector partnerships"" across the State as the preferred approach for focusing workforce-development funding on high-priority jobs and careers.

• Adopt specific policies and make targeted investments in education and training that prepare people for high-priority jobs and careers in major sectors of California's regional economies.

• Launch new and expand existing regional sector partnerships across the State.

• Establish written ""sector compacts"" for every partnership, with public and private sector partners committing to specific investments and other actions. Sector compacts should not only define commitments of regional partners, but also those of state agency partners, ""braiding"" multiple funding streams.

November 8, 2013 Summit commitments:
• Regional sector partnerships: Six regions committed to launching regional sector partnerships to prepare their workforce for high-demand fields. 18 individuals committed to documenting and sharing regional promising practices that showcase effective sector collaborations.

2. Increase State Support for Regional Sector Partnerships

A. Coordinate state systems to jointly support the expansion of regional sector partnerships across California. Coordinate and expand current support for sector partnerships among the community college, workforce investment, K-12, and university systems, as well as the Employment Training Panel, GO-Biz, and others.

B. Remove state-level barriers to the expansion of regional sector partnerships. State agencies and systems should review their policies and processes to identify and remove any disincentives to the expansion of regional sector partnerships across California.

• Provide a focal point for coordinating agency investments in sector partnerships, collecting and promoting promising practices and helpful tools, facilitating peer-to-peer exchange and mutual support, and providing training and coaching on how to convene and maintain effective sector partnerships. This joint effort would be coordinated through the California Workforce Investment Board (CWIB) State Working Group, involving leaders in several state systems and agencies.

• Qualify community colleges on the Employment Training Provider list so they can become natural workforce training providers in the public workforce system.

• Publish wage data mapped to community college, CSU, and UC programs to increase transparency for consumers (and their families) and partners.

November 8, 2013 Summit commitments:
• State/regional coordination: Over a dozen individuals made commitments to recruit business leaders, local elected officials, and community organizations to help implement the Workforce Action Plan.