Tuesday, September 4, 2012

How Do We Revitalize California's Workforce?

Better late than never! Here's to a Tuesday edition of Motion Monday...

If you're anywhere with a set of speakers, a computer, cell phone or radio at 6:20 a.m. (PST) Friday, tune in to KCBS 740 AM or 106.9 FM to hear an interview with Bishop-Wisecarver President Pamela Kan, who's scheduled to discuss the state of California's job force and her recent appointment to the state's Workforce Investment Board. Exciting stuff!

The California Workforce Investment Board was founded in 1998 to advise the governor in workforce policy and development. We were happy to hear last week that Gov. Jerry Brown handpicked  Kan to this year's advisory board along with 29 other private sector members.

The board's role is seen as very important, especially since California struggles with a 10.7 percent unemployment rate and even higher rate of underemployed residents. Kan's experience in the manufacturing sector will help in advising Brown on new workforce development initiatives, the board says.

Some of the group's goals this years, according to its website, include: 
  • Grow industry sectors with the highest potential for good jobs
  • Create career pathways for the people who need it most
  • Combine resources from multiple partners
Those goals are outlined in a document called the Strategic Workforce Investment Plan, which spells out the five-year vision for the California economy. The strategy articulates a goal of blending several education, training and employment funding sources. The goal comes from much discussion, some of which was facilitated through several regional meetings held earlier this year in various parts of the state.

If you'd like to learn more, you can see all the documents and meeting minutes from the board's activities on the Regional Focus Group page on the CWIB website.