Bryan Reece, Ph.D.
Bringing California's Economy Back
Updated: Jun 6, 2020
To bring the California economy back, we need our community colleges to collaborate like never before.
The California community colleges (CCCs) offer high-quality technical training through 14 economic regional consortiums (Strong Workforce Development Regions). What the regions do not have is an elegant way to coordinate interregional and multi-college partnerships. As a result, companies that are larger than our regions find it difficult to develop partnerships with us. For example, if a state-wide business wants to develop training programs or apprenticeships for their existing/future employees throughout the state, the business is required to develop 14 different regional relationships, coordinate with 14 different Regional Directors, accommodate countless individual college/district processes, etc. This model has hindered the relationship between CCCs and large state businesses. Adding Calbright to the model is desperately needed. Through a collaborative model where Calbright partners with each of the 14 regions, CCCs could offer training solutions to large businesses much more effectively. In this approach, Calbright would act as one point of contact with large businesses and coordinate training in the 14 regions and/or through Calbright’s own programs. This will help local community colleges grow, train more CA residents for “new economy” jobs, and help the state’s largest employers prosper. Everyone wins if we build a collaborative model.
It is predicted that by 2030, 1.9 million new job openings in California will require CTE skills trained at the certificate or AA degree level. In other words, 30% of all CA job openings in 2030 will need technical training that exceeds the high school diploma but does not require a bachelors degree. Our middle skills training infrastructure is primarily supported by community colleges and currently does not have enough capacity to deliver on this need. If we collaborate with Calbright in the mix, I believe we can build a middle skills training pipeline in the state that will meet this demand.