With September being Workforce Development Month, this is a perfect time to highlight the pivotal role and initiatives of California Workforce Boards (CWB) in workforce development.
We wanted to highlight specific actions by individual workforce boards that underscore California’s progressive approach.
Understanding the Role of California Workforce Boards (CWB)
The CWB serves as an essential bridge, linking job seekers with employers while ensuring that the skills of the workforce match the evolving needs of industries.
The primary areas of emphasis of the CWB include:
- Skill Development: Equipping the workforce with up-to-date skills relevant to the demands of modern industries.
- Employment Opportunities: Ensuring job seekers have ample opportunities to put their skills to use in meaningful employment.
- Retraining and Reemployment: Adapting to the changing work landscape by offering programs that allow individuals to gain new skills and find employment.
- Support for Disadvantaged Groups: Prioritizing marginalized groups to ensure they benefit from equal employment opportunities.
Key Trends and California Workforce Board Initiatives
Embracing Digital Literacy
With the rapid digitization of various industries, there’s a strong emphasis on acquiring digital skills. From understanding the basics of computer operation to navigating complex software, the modern worker needs to be digitally savvy.
Yolo County Workforce Innovation Board offers jobseekers a digital literacy assessment aimed at helping them acquire the skills they need in today’s workplace. Modules include Basic Computer Skills, Internet Basics, Using Email, Essential Software Skills, Social Media, and Information Literacy. Read more here.
Green Jobs and Sustainability
As California pushes for a sustainable future, there’s a surge in green job opportunities. Renewable energy, waste management, and eco-friendly construction are sectors that will see significant growth.
Fresno Workforce Development Board’s ValleyBuild initiative provides inclusive access to pre-apprenticeship training and related services, enabling Californians from all backgrounds to qualify for employment and acceptance into apprenticeships in the skilled building and construction trades that support environmental sustainability and climate mitigation. Read more here.
Reskilling and Upskilling Initiatives
With technological advancements, there’s a need to continually update skills. The CWB focuses on programs that allow workers to reskill or upskill, ensuring they remain competitive in the job market.
Acknowledging the prominence of the healthcare sector in their region, Foothill Workforce Development Board provides tools and resources to help individuals begin their careers or grow in their existing jobs, including links to major healthcare providers with available career opportunities. Read more here.
Remote Work and Flexibility
The pandemic highlighted the feasibility of remote work. Many employers now offer flexible work arrangements, leading to a shift in the skills required, such as virtual collaboration and time management.
The San Bernardino County Workforce Development Board has updated its training programs in response to automation, gig economy, remote work, and feedback shared by local employers. Read more here.
Prioritizing Equity and Inclusion
There’s a growing focus on ensuring a diverse and inclusive workforce. Initiatives are being implemented to support marginalized groups and ensure equal access to opportunities.
The Inland Empire Regional Workforce Development Board is dedicated to mainstreaming marginalized communities. Their Prison to Employment (P2E) Initiative connects individuals who were formerly incarcerated and other justice-involved individuals with high-demand jobs in the labor market to reduce recidivism. Read more here.
Why CareerScope is Utilized by Workforce Boards
Partnering with CWBs, including the Foothill Workforce Development Board and Imperial County Workforce Development Board, CareerScope’s interest and aptitude assessment matches job seekers’ interests and aptitudes to best fit jobs.
The varied initiatives of workforce boards across California shine a light on the state’s comprehensive approach to addressing both current and future workforce needs. As these boards pave the way, organizations like CareerScope amplify their reach, ensuring California remains at the forefront of workforce development.
Contact us if you are interested in adding CareerScope as a resource for your organization.
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Additional resources related to Workforce Development.