Higher Education and Workforce Alignment

Creating a system responsive to workforce and community needs.

When higher education and workforce are in alignment, better-trained workers get higher-paying jobs, employers get more qualified candidates, communities get engaged citizenry propelling society forward, and our state builds a strong, inclusive, and sustainable economy fueled by a skilled, diverse workforce. California Competes’s research supplies the state and its regions, colleges and universities, labor and employers with vital information needed to create a coherent higher education and workforce ecosystem that can effectively serve many needs at once.

Employer Engagement

work based learning employer engagement

California leaders must drive inclusive economic recovery and future resiliency by strengthening the state’s education-to-employment pathways. Key to this is building bridges between employers and postsecondary institutions to ensure curriculum planning and delivery ultimately advance student career readiness and expands the pool of trained professionals that labor markets need. California Competes connects the dots, makes sense of the discord, and creates cohesion so that meaningful collaboration can take place to support seamless transitions between education to work.

Work-Based Learning

work based learning

Expanding access to work-based learning opportunities, including apprenticeships and internships, deepen student learning, career awareness, and job readiness; providing a win-win proposition to both employers and students—and ultimately California’s economy and communities. California Competes’s research pinpoints friction areas that create barriers to work-based learning opportunities, identifies solutions to addressing these barriers, as well as elevates effective programs to scale across the state.

Regional Initiatives

regional economic analysis and policy

California, the 5th largest economy in the world, is made up of very diverse regions and local economies. Solutions to address equity and opportunity gaps cannot take on a statewide one-size fits-all approach. Instead, solutions must leverage unique, local aspects to drive meaningful change across the state. California Competes supports implementation fidelity of regional programs, alignment of regional partners working towards the same priorities, and the building of capacity to scale up effective programs.

Reimagining higher education to serve all Californians
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