Nothing correlates to a prosperous economy more closely than the knowledge and skills of its workforce.
Without sufficient talent, businesses stall, regions stagnate and quality of life declines. A disciplined focus on talent development is especially critical now because the future of work is changing faster and more dramatically than at any other time in history. Fortunately, we have a strong foundation that can make it possible for our region to serve and strengthen the existing workforce, assuring that we can grow from within, providing living-wage job opportunities to our residents.
To meet this challenge, we must build upon the region’s educational systems and working partnerships. By expanding the collective efforts to connect and integrate educational and job opportunities for existing workers as well as for future graduates, we will foster a more diverse, inclusive and capable Central Coast workforce. Diversity in all ways — gender, cultural and political — will strengthen our region’s ability to thrive in an increasingly complex global economy.
Expand Degree Options
Expand 4-year degree options. With entrance to Cal Poly and UCSB highly competitive and constrained, options for a four-year degree on the Central Coast are severely limited. Aside from online programs, students seeking a bachelor’s degree must look at least 100 miles out of the region, a significant barrier for socio- economically disadvantaged communities. Expanded community college offerings and satellite education centers are needed to lift people out of poverty and prepare local residents for high-wage jobs.
Support New Training
Support vocational training and skill development programs. A third of new jobs in California, including high-paying skilled trades and high-tech information technology jobs are expected to require career and technical education beyond high school but not necessarily a baccalaureate degree. Preparing Central Coast residents for a lifetime of learning is a top priority if we wish to retain talent, grow from within and provide economic mobility for our workforce.
Align Demand & Education
Align industry demand with education and job skill-training capacity. Education and industry leaders must strengthen collaboration to ensure that educational programming and technical training keep pace with current and emerging industry sectors, with programs aimed at traditional students and workers seeking new skills to keep up with a changing career landscape. Advancing effective institutional-employer partnerships will result in education and training that meets the needs of workers and employers today and into the future.
Advocate For Collaboration
Advocate for greater K-16 regional collaboration. For Central Coast residents to succeed in the regional and global economy, they need seamless and integrated education opportunities throughout a lifetime of learning and training. That requires education and private-sector leaders to strengthen coordination, integration, funding and implementation of critical talent-development initiatives, programs and pathways that are aligned to regional industry demand.
STAKEHOLDERS NEEDED AT THE TABLE:
- California State University System
- California Community Colleges System
- Local government
- Allan Hancock College
- Cuesta College
- Cal Poly
- K-12 education
- Private industry
- Workforce development boards
- Economic development organizations
- Civic and philanthropic organizations
- 24th Congressional District
- 17th Senate District
- 19th Senate District
- 35th Assembly
- California Office of Business and Economic Development (Go Biz)
METRICS WE WILL USE TO TRACK SUCCESS
- Graduation rates and degrees earned for K-12 and higher education institutions by resident/ non-resident, race, gender and class
- Availability and capacity of four- year degree programs in the region
- Transfer rates from community colleges to four-year institutions