Bay Area Council Blog: Workforce of the Future Archive


Career Fair Focuses on Opportunities for Youth of Color

The Bay Area Council’s Workforce of the Future Committee this week (Sept. 20) partnered with Work2Future on a San Jose career fair that focused on expanding workforce opportunities for youth of color. The more than 200 job seekers who participated in the fair at the Mexican Heritage Plaza got an opportunity to prepare to meet employers such as Bank of the West, United Airlines, Uber, US Bank and AT&T, among others. Employers interviewed and shared jobs with candidates who were recent high school graduates and those who had just completed a master’s program. Work2Future provided job candidates job-readiness skills. The Council’s Workforce team conducted mock interviews and provided resume support to candidates for the duration of the career fair. Applicants connected with employers to learn more about current job opportunities and test out their interview skills.

This effort is part of the Council’s Workforce of the Future Initiative called Inclusive Economy – where employers have the opportunity to hire local diverse talent who have been prepared to interview for their jobs.  To get involved in the next Inclusive Economy Career Fair on October 2, please contact Senior Policy Manager Rachele Trigueros.


Closing the Skills Gap across Industries

Fierce demand and competition for workforce talent is steering a growing number of tech companies, including Google, Amazon, IBM and Tesla, to build closer ties with community colleges. A recent Wall Street Journal story—Big Tech’s Hot New Talent Incubator: Community Colleges—highlighting this emerging trend didn’t come as big news to the Bay Area Council. Through our Workforce of the Future Committee, the Council for several years has been partnering with community colleges to build out programs that address the widening skills gap many employers are experiencing.

Tech is not the only player getting in on the game. The Council is also focusing on a range of industries, including advanced manufacturing, aviation, construction and healthcare, to create stronger educational and career pathways that better align the instruction and programs community colleges offer to meet the hiring needs of employers. Innovative Occupational Councils the Workforce Committee has pioneered are serving as the forum for bringing together employers and educators to develop new methods for making community colleges vital talent incubators. To learn how the Workforce of the Future Committee can help with your companies hiring challenges, please contact Senior Vice President Linda Bidrossian.


Stupski Foundation Grant Propels Occupational Councils

Innovative Occupational Councils (OCs) the Bay Area Council launched this year to address workforce gaps in key industries have exceeded expectations in just the first eight months, thanks in large part to funding from the Stupski Foundation Learning Grant. Operated by the Council’s Workforce of the Future Committee under the leadership of Co-Chairs Teresa Briggs of Deloitte, Glenn Shannon of Shorenstein Properties and Julius Robinson of Union Bank, the OCs have convened employers, educators, nonprofits and other stakeholders to address severe regional workforce shortages in the aviation, construction, healthcare and manufacturing industries. The program has included regular meetings of key stakeholders to identify ways to increase the talent pipeline for jobs in these industries, conducting in-classroom employer visits and organizing several curated job fairs. The Committee has also begun identifying best practices for scaling up the OCs and ensuring they can be sustained.

The Workforce of the Future team is always looking for additional employers to lend valuable industry insight and expertise to the Occupational Councils. For more information, please contact Senior Vice President Linda Bidrossian.


JP Morgan Chase Grant Fuels Innovative Workforce Program

JPMorgan Chase & Co. continues its commitment to the Bay Area Council’s Workforce of the Future program with a $100,000 grant. These funds will help accelerate programs already underway through our Occupational Councils and our Inclusive Economy work, which is focused on serving under-represented populations in the Bay Area. In addition, the funds will drive regional collaboration with workforce stakeholders across California, leveraging best practices from different regions to maximize results at large scale.

Corporate philanthropy dollars are the engine for workforce programs run by the Council and other non-governmental organizations serving under-represented populations. JPMorgan Chase & Co. funding over the years has supported the growth of the Occupational Councils in aviation, healthcare, and construction.  These employer-driven programs are systematically removing barriers to entry for our local diverse talent.  Curated career fairs, targeting youth of color, veterans, emigrants and refugees, through the Inclusive Economy work where the Council leverages the expertise of talent training partners Work2Future, Swords to Plowshares and Upwardly Global. The regional efforts have already started with partnerships across the megaregion and Southern California. To participate and benefit from the Workforce of the Future programs, please contact Senior Vice President Linda Bidrossian.

42 silicon valley

Partner Spotlight: 42 Silicon Valley

The Bay Area Council’s Workforce of the Future Committee is always looking for organizations to partner with that are committed to expanding access to education and career opportunities for local talent. One such example is 42 Silicon Valley. With a campus in Fremont, 42 Silicon Valley is a software engineering school that offers a revolutionary way of approaching education. The Bay Area Council is developing a partnership with 42 Silicon Valley that will help create a pipeline of talent for meeting the needs of our member companies in a range of technical, coding and software positions.

The demand for people with tech skills is on the rise and our educational system is struggling to keep pace with changing technology and industry demands. ​Recently, the school received a WISE Award that recognizes projects for innovative solutions to urgent education challenges. 42’s tuition-free, peer-to-peer learning structure and project-based curriculum is based on new access to knowledge, the future of the workplace and today’s digital world.

Just this month, 42 and Council member the SF 49ers partnered on a free-of-charge, innovative high school summer camp for experienced and beginning coders that gave students an opportunity to learn valuable coding skills with a focus on data science and sports.

Learn more about 42 Silicon Valley>>


Mentorship Programs Valuable for Growing New Leaders

Mentorships are a valuable way for employers to grow leadership from within their ranks, while building employee satisfaction through repeated engagement. That was the overarching message of a best practices workshop the Bay Area Council organized on Friday, August 3 that focused on the value of building and sustaining effective mentorship programs. Graciously hosted by Genentech, participants included Bain & Company, Kaiser Permanente, New Deal Advisors, Stanford Medicine, Technology Credit Union and United Airlines. The discussion was robust, providing leadership in how to incentivize participation in mentorship programs, while underscoring the importance of maintaining regular check-ins on the efficacy of internal programs.

Participants identified key takeaways such as developing metrics to measure the efficiency of the program, building succession plans, and making a deliberate effort to improve inclusivity and diversity of programs, and lifting previously marginalized populations. As companies grow, it is essential to build bridges between leadership and junior level employees. The next best practices workshop will focus on performance management. For more information on the Council’s Workforce of the Future initiatives, please contact Senior Vice President Linda Bidrossian.


A Bay Area-Europe Collaboration on Cybersecurity Education

EIT Digital and Bay Area Council member UC Berkeley have joined forces to launch Cybersecurity 360, the first professional education program of its kind, which will take place this October in Berkeley and in Munich, Germany. The program includes experts from both the U.S. and Europe, who will equip industry leaders to effectively address relevant cybersecurity issues in their management decisions.

This collaboration between EIT Digital and UC Berkeley Executive Education couldn’t be timelier, as organizations increasingly discover the price of online carelessness. According to the 2017 “Cost of cybercrime” study by Accenture and the Ponemon Institute, the average cost of online crime globally climbed to $11.7 million per organization, a 23 percent increase from 2016. Through the Cybersecurity 360 program, decision makers are able to obtain the required level of proficiency in cybersecurity to safeguard their organizations. Program details are available HERE.


Advanced Manufacturing: Gears are Turning

The Bay Area Council’s Workforce of the Future Committee convened its first Advanced Manufacturing Occupational Council on Wednesday, August 1 to address talent gaps in the region. The meeting addressed the need to build a larger supply of talented candidates through stronger marketing of the advanced manufacturing career path. Advanced manufacturing offers a variety of career growth opportunities that provide good wage earning capacity without the need for a four-year degree.

As the Bay Area economy continues to hum along at a fast pace, it is essential to maintain the economic advantage of advanced manufacturing. The Council will continue to expand membership engagement in this occupational council, and begin building lasting connections to talent throughout the Bay Area. For more information on the Workforce of the Future’s initiatives, please contact Linda Bidrossian, Senior Vice President, Public Policy.

Read the Economic Institute’s report on advanced manufacturing in the Bay Area>>



New Tariffs to Escalate Construction Costs Impacting Bay Area’s Housing Production and Prices

Tariffs of 20% the Trump administration imposed last year on imports of Canadian softwood lumber, and more recent tariffs of 15% and 10% on steel and aluminum imports, are starting to impact the local economy – including construction and housing. Beyond land cost, the region’s high housing costs are primarily driven by a lack of inventory caused by resistance to development and fees imposed by local governments. The cost of construction materials can now be added as another obstacle to meeting the region’s housing goals – not the primary one, but an issue that’s additive and is likely to be significant.

Lumber accounts for the largest material cost of building homes. This may push builders to focus more on high-end homes where buyers can absorb the increased costs, instead of the low and middle income housing the region needs most. Higher steel prices are also starting to impact commercial high-rise construction. The marginal cost of materials, particularly when increases are double digit, can stall or stop a project. Some towers are being reduced in scale in order to lower costs, reducing the number of units produced. Residential projects have also been stopped or stalled as developers recalculate the higher costs and how design around them. The potential impact of tariffs is likely to grow with time, as more products (tools, fixtures, appliances) used in the building process or incorporated into new structures are added to the list. To engage in the Council’s housing advocacy work, please contact Senior Vice President of Policy Matt Regan.




Bay Area Cities Approve, Deny New Taxes on Business

A number of cities across the Bay Area have been pursuing initiatives to increase taxes on businesses with stated goals of generating revenue amid mounting housing affordability, transportation, and homelessness crises. This week, the City Councils of Mountain View and East Palo Alto passed measures going on November 2018 ballots to place a head tax and parcel tax, respectively, on businesses meeting certain parameters. Meanwhile, San Francisco and Cupertino withdrew their measures to increase business taxes following collaboration with affected companies.  In San Francisco, Supervisor Aaron Peskin replaced his ballot measure to tax gross receipts of ride-hailing and autonomous vehicle companies with a per-ride fee that will be introduced through state legislation. Cupertino agreed to delay consideration of a head tax measure until 2020 after more thorough planning is completed.

The Bay Area Council shares the concerns of these cities to find solutions to our region’s problems. However, we are concerned that in an attempt to be seen as taking action on a timely issue, cities are increasingly turning to taxing businesses without sufficient analysis or stakeholder engagement. Without a thoughtful process, cities risk reducing employment and wage growth, affecting employees and constraining the region’s economic success. The Bay Area’s housing and transportation problems are regional in nature and a myriad of heavy-handed taxes on businesses across multiple cities discourages the potential for a coordinated, regional strategy needed to solve these major challenges. The Bay Area Council has written letters and testified at numerous City Council meetings on these issues, and has offered to partner with City Councilmembers and their staff to assist with their analysis. We are encouraged by the actions of San Francisco and Cupertino to work with affected companies and take the time to analyze the impact of the proposed taxes before sending measures to voters for approval.