SMART Workforce

Prioritize Workforce-training Resources to Support Growth of Major Regional Industry Sectors

There is a serious and growing shortage of skilled workers for major regional industry sectors across California, while there are also thousands of people who are unemployed or underemployed statewide. The state’s current approach is fragmented and under-resourced, and it meets the needs of neither our regional economies or our communities. California faces growing competition from other states and countries and must be smarter about preparing our workforce to enable our regional industry sectors to compete and grow jobs for Californians.

Goal of SMART Workforce

Prioritize workforce-training resources to support the growth of major regional industry sectors. This includes creating partnerships between local workforce investment boards (WIBs), community colleges, economic development organizations, businesses, and labor to prepare people for high-demand jobs in major industry sectors. This was voted as the top workforce priority at almost all Regional Forums.

Tracking Progress

Action Team

Goals for the Year

Progress update - September 1, 2015

Prioritize and align existing workforce-training and career-education resources to focus on major regional industry sectors/clusters
Support passage of legislation that promotes regional industry partnerships/sector strategies - specifically SB1401, 1402, and 1070.
September 24, 2013 - The Summit Steering Committee chartered the 2013 Workforce Action Team to develop a plan for meeting the skilled workforce needs of California's economy by expanding career-technical education pathways in high-demand fields. This year's Team has been meeting since July to identify priority actions for supporting employer-driven education and training partnerships in high-growth regional industry clusters. April 1, 2013 - Lawmakers have introduced several bills that would remove systemic barriers to effective regional partnerships. SB 594 (Steinberg) would create new financial incentives for regions to engage business, education, and workforce institutions to prepare workers for high-growth occupations. SB 118 (Lieu) would target resources for workforce training in specific, high-growth industry clusters. December 20, 2012 - Practitioners network launched. September 21, 2012 - Gov. Brown signed SB 1070, a bill that focuses the state's community colleges and Superintendent of Public Instruction on improving the linkages between high schools and community colleges to improve education pathways into California's regional economies. September 17, 2012 - Gov. Brown signed SB 1402, the reauthorization of the California Community Colleges Economic and Workforce Development Program, which seeks to align career-technical programs with industry needs. September 14, 2012 - Legislation to promote regional industry workforce partnerships (SB 1402 and 1070) have passed both houses and await signature by the Governor. SB 1401 passed the California Senate and two Assembly Committees, before being held up in the Assembly Appropriations Committee due to the fact the State Board is administratively accomplishing most of what 1401 was intending to legislatively.
Use regional industry sector/cluster partnerships as a framework for state and local area workforce plans and grant funding, specifically in the new CWIB strategic plan and state support for local sector-based proposals to the federal government.
April 1, 2013 - California's State Workforce Invesment Board has called for a comprehensive local planning process to be undertaken by Local WIBs, including criteria assessment of high performing WIBs, prioritization of investment in worker training, and adoption and use of sector partnerships as a key service delivery strategy. September 14, 2012 - The draft California State Workforce Board strategic plan has language to this effect. A growing number of local plans have also embraced this framework. The California Community College Chancellors Office has launched its Doing What Matters for Jobs and the Economy Initiative, which explicitly mentions the Economic Summit process as a catalyst for the Chancellors Office to encourage a framework for regional planning around career technical education.
Identify commitments from state and local agencies and institutions to pursue regional industry sector/cluster strategies, launching a statewide peer network of practitioners pursuing regional sector/cluster strategies at the September 2012 Meeting of the Minds conference.
September 14, 2012 - The California Workforce Association has approved the development of such a network, and it will be designed and launched in fall 2012.
Seed and leverage funding for regional industry partnerships
Seed at least five new regional partnerships across California in 2012, through the Regional Industry Clusters of Opportunity grant program, regional manufacturing partnership pilots, and other means.
December 20, 2012 - Launch of Regional Industry Clusters of Opportunity set for first quarter 2013. September 14, 2012 - The California Community College Chancellor's Office has just funded eight industry-driven regional collaboratives, with 23 more proposals that received a passing score if funding had been available. The California State Board Regional Industry Clusters of Opportunity (RICO) initiative is preparing to launch its next generation of 5-8 grants in fall 2012.
Create a shared agenda among existing regional funders collaboratives, building on best practices to expand support for regional partnerships across California