Bay Area Council Blog: Workforce of the Future Archive


Big Election Wins for Bay Area, Council on Housing, Transportation

Millions of Bay Area commuters could breathe a sigh of relief Tuesday when 70 percent of voters passed Measure RR to fix and upgrade BART, the region’s aging and overcrowded mass transit backbone. The Bay Area Council was a leading advocate for Measure RR, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars to support the campaign and countering vocal, but misguided opposition led by state Sen. Steve Glazer that would have been content to see the measure fail and watch BART descend into chaos. The $3.5 billion Measure RR raises will help keep the system running, increase ridership capacity, keep cars off congested roads and highways and keep the region moving.

It was one of several successful measures across the region that the Council was backing to invest in affordable housing and transportation. Measure B in Santa Clara County also reached the 70 percent threshold and will generate $6.5 billion to extend BART to Silicon Valley, expand Caltrain and fix local roads. That campaign was led by Silicon Valley Leadership Group CEO Carl Guardino. Also in Santa Clara County, Measure A passed with flying colors and will provide $950 billion for a variety of affordable housing programs. In Alameda County, Measure A1 will provide $580 billion for affordable housing. The Council also endorsed Measure KK in Oakland to invest $600 million in affordable housing, transportation and other vital city services.

On the Presidential front the nonpartisan Council didn’t take sides, but is now working to see where we may have agreement with President-elect Donald Trump and where we may need to advocate on issues important to ensuring the Bay Area economy remains strong. Trump signaled during the campaign his support for massive infrastructure investment, including for transportation, water and energy. He also identified early education as an area he supports. On trade, the President-elect has voiced strong concerns about free trade agreements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership which the Council supports. A report the Bay Area Council Economic Institute is preparing to release next week examines the huge benefits of foreign trade to local, state and national economies. Trump’s position on climate change may also put him at odds with California’s global leadership on clean energy technology, a growing area of the state’s economy that the Council has long embraced. Immigration may be another area where the Council calls for moderation on policies that could hurt the ability of employers to attract needed talent.

Statewide, the Council nearly ran the table in its endorsements. Of the eight propositions for which the Council took a position, all but one went the right way.

See a full results roundup of the Council’s ballot positions>>



Educators, Employers Meet to Bridge Workforce Gap

The Bay Area Council’s Workforce of the Future Committee, in partnership with the Bay Area Community College Consortium, hosted its first marketplace working session on October 14 at member company Recology. The working session brought together employers from utilities, infrastructure, and manufacturing industries with community college educators and leaders to look at curriculum and define the industry role in the education of future maintenance technician/ mechanic workers.

Participants from such organizations as BART, San Francisco International Airport, and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission discussed with community college representatives the reasons for a growing gap between workforce demand and supply in the Bay Area. Kit O’Doherty of the Bay Area Community College Consortium and Mark Martin led the conversation on curriculum, pathways to jobs, and impending future needs for the industrial maintenance technician/ mechanic occupation. The working session came at a critical time for many employers of the utilities, infrastructure, and manufacturing industries, as many reported that nearly 40 percent of their workforce in this particular skills area is ready to retire any day. Attendees committed to reconvening in February 2017 to review community college curriculum and potentially devise certification or pathway opportunities into open positions.

Our thanks to Recology for hosting the meeting. To engage in the Council’s Workforce of the Future efforts, and for more information on how to participate in marketplace sessions for your industry, please contact Senior Vice President, Linda Bidrossian.


Member Spotlight: Year Up

Six million motivated young adults in this country lack access to stable career pathways. At the same time, 12 million U.S. jobs will go unfulfilled in the next decade. Can the United States afford this growing economic and social gap in its workforce?

These are troubling realities that represent a tremendous national opportunity. With locations in 18 cities, Year Up offers these young adults a training program that combines six months of intensive technical training and professional skills development with a six-month internship at one of its 250+ corporate partners (45+ in the Bay Area). Connecting underserved young adults with the skills, knowledge and experience that today’s businesses demand ensures these young adults begin successful careers.  In return, employers gain access to a wider pipeline of well-trained talent than ever before —the talent they need to compete across the globe.

Over 90 percent of Year Up’s corporate partners would recommend Year Up to a friend or colleague as a talent solution. Learn more about hosting an intern or hiring an alum. Individuals can get involved too - volunteer to support interns with mock interviews, resume workshops, networking events, guest speaking, mentoring or tutoring.  It’s a hand up, not a hand out.  And it’s a win for our communities, partners, and economy. Watch Year Up alum Aika’s story here.


How Will the Bay Area Meet Future Workforce Needs?

The Bay Area Council’s Workforce of the Future Committee convened Thursday (Oct. 5) to give an update on the Council’s work to improve the number of qualified candidates from community colleges for jobs with our member companies. Our program includes first giving transparency to the needs of employers across industry while building occupational council’s that will convene with educators to align curriculum and classroom engagement with students prior to recruitment. Committee Co-Chair Teresa Briggs, who is Vice Chair and West Region Managing Partner for Deloitte, led a thought-provoking conversation with Darren Oliver, Vice President of Human Resources for Comcast, and Tyler Law, Vice President of Product for workforce startup Scoutible on the future of hiring talent.  Scoutible uses gaming to help candidates find well suited jobs that lowers a company’s turnover rate. Comcast is already piloting a sentiment analysis tool for its high turnover customer service jobs.

Watch the discussion on future workforce hiring>>

Rock Pfontenhauer, Chair of the Bay Area Community College Consortium, and John Carrese, Director of the San Francisco Bay Center of Excellence, presented the partnership with the Bay Area Council defining the target markets of support that include utilities/infrastructure, healthcare, technology, and financial services to start. Council President and CEO Jim Wunderman opened the meeting by describing how the Council’s role in workforce is not only improving the connection between employers and educators but increasing access to innovation jobs across industries for all Californians. “Educators from both four year and two year colleges want their students to get jobs and have upward mobility so they can afford to live in the Bay Area,” Wunderman said. Our thanks to Deloitte for hosting the meeting. To engage in the Council’s workforce policy and programs, please contact Senior Vice President, Linda Bidrossian.



Council Forms Megaregion Partnership with Sacramento to Keep Jobs, Grow Economy

The Bay Area Council today  announced a new partnership with the Greater Sacramento Area Economic Council  as part of a campaign promote the integration of the Bay Area and the Capital Region into a single high-performing economy by developing and leveraging a joint civic, business, and policy platform. The #CaliforniaJobsMatter campaign will focus on the Sacramento area, the Central Valley, and the mega-region. Sacramento Mayor-Elect Darrell Steinberg and Bay Area Council CEO Jim Wunderman will lead the mission.

“Our regions will come together and compete on a national stage to host some of the most innovative companies,” Bay Area Council President and CEO Jim Wunderman said. “Connecting these regions through the Capitol Corridor will help drop commute times to under an hour and further bolster this competitive advantage.”

“The Northern California mega-region strategy will provide communities in the Greater Sacramento area access to opportunities in the most innovative market in the world, and vice versa,” Greater Sacramento Area Economic Council CEO Barry Broome said. “California is the world’s 6th largest economy and is the most innovative and profitable state for business – but we lack a placemaking strategy for communities that are without jobs.”

The Sacramento region is the competitive response against alternative economies including Texas, Utah, and Colorado, which are regularly targeting our key industries. The region has access to high-demand talent with 308,000 actively enrolled college students in the area who are adding to the already talented workforce. In the Sacramento region 31.1% of the residents have at least a 4-year degree and 49.4% of them are in STEM fields, the 4th highest amount nationally.

Connecting these jobs to the mega-region will stabilize the state’s economy, create employment opportunities, and keep tax dollars in California’s education and health systems, which will also help alleviate high levels of youth unemployment, decrease economic distress in neighborhoods, and support middle class employment for California residents.

“This is a great opportunity for us to partner with the Bay Area region and create a corridor for businesses to come and thrive in the Sacramento region,” Sacramento Mayor-Elect Darrell Steinberg said. “Choose Sacramento over Texas, our region offers talent and resources that can help facilitate the Bay Area’s rapid growth in a more innovative and sustainable way.”

Greater Sacramento will launch an office in Sunnyvale to further interconnect the Capital region with the Bay Area as one high-performing market, creating the Sac-Bay innovation corridor within the Northern California mega-region.

A growing rate of job loss in the state is masked by the strong job creation in the Bay Area. Such reliance on a single economic market puts into question the long-term economic sustainability of California as a whole. Robust, diverse, economies depend on a mix of advanced and legacy industries.

The Bay Area Council Economic Institute, the research arm of the Bay Area Council, in July released a report examining the emerging megaregion, including the need for stronger transportation and workforce development connections.

Read The Northern California Megaregion>>

The Northern California mega-region strategy will connect communities such as Sacramento, Tracy, Vacaville, Stockton, and others to the Bay Area region.  Greater Sacramento will work with the Bay Area Council to defend California-based jobs against out-of-state competitors.


Council Notches Its Best Legislative Record in Years

The Bay Area Council was poised to notch its best legislative record in years with the deadline for Gov. Jerry Brown to sign or veto bills coming today (Sept. 30). The Council scored wins in all but one of its lead policy areas, including housing, transportation and workforce development. In the area of commute improvement, the Governor signed AB 1592, AB 1889, AB 2126 and AB 2763 into law. AB 1592 authored by Assemblywoman Bonilla authorizes the Contra Costa Transportation Authority to conduct testing of autonomous vehicles. AB 1889 authored by Assemblyman Kevin Mullin helps the state access Proposition 1A high speed rail bond proceeds for the Caltrain electrification and modernization project. AB 2126, also authored by Assemblyman Kevin Mullin, will expedite congestion relief improvements on Highway 101 between San Francisco and San Jose. AB 2763 authored by Assemblyman Mike Gatto helps ride-sharing companies like Lyft expand their driver networks.

The Governor also took action on several bills supported by the Council to create a skilled workforce of the future. AB 2329 authored by Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla will broaden the pool of computer science teachers and will promote computer science education in our school system.  SB 66 authored by Senator Connie Leyva will help community colleges measure and improve career technical education programs. The Council was also successful in advocating for the Governor to veto SB 959, which would have increased cost on the University of California system. To engage in the Council’s government relations work, please contact Policy Manager Cornelious Burke.


State Sen. Jackson Talks Fair Pay with Council’s Gender Equity Committee

The Bay Area Council’s Gender Equity Committee on Thursday (Sept. 15) welcomed state Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) for an invigorating discussion hosted by member company Lyft about promoting workplace cultures of equality. Sen. Jackson authored the California Fair Pay Act, landmark legislation that established the strongest equal pay law in the country and went into effect in January. More than a half century after John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act to abolish wage discrimination based on gender, women in the United States still earn on average only .79 cents for every dollar men earn. Jackson’s legislation strengthens federal regulations and marks a great step forward in closing that wage gap.

After fighting for pay equity for 35 years, Sen. Jackson attributed the success of this bill — which received unanimous approval in the Senate and nearly unanimous approval in the Assembly — to the convincing economic argument.  Unequal pay costs California women $39 billion annually, which is money that could be flowing to businesses and the overall state economy. Following a welcome by Lyft Public Policy Manager Rena Davis, Sen. Jackson discussed other strategies that will produce more equitable workplaces, including promoting more women to board leadership positions and adopting family friendly policies such as paid parental leave and on-site child care.

Many of these workplace practices are highlighted in the Bay Area Council Economic Institute’s recent Best Practices Resource Guide. The Gender Equity Committee is Co-Chaired by Peg McAllister of Lee Hecht Harrison, Christopher Ruhl of PwC and Stuart Newton of Deloitte. To engage on the Council’s gender equity work, please contact Policy Manager Emily Loper.


Council Scores Big Legislative Wins, Urges Governor’s Signature

When the state’s solons adjourned late Wednesday (Aug. 31), two major bills the Council sponsored were headed to Governor Jerry Brown’s desk for his signature along with a handful of others for which we advocated. The biggies were SB 1069 (Wieckowski), which addresses California’s epic housing shortage by easing restrictions on granny units, and AB 1755 (Dodd), which addresses the state’s historic drought by providing the data needed to establish a functioning water market. Gov. Brown has until the end of the month to act on legislation, and the Council is continuing its advocacy to secure his signature.

In the area of commute improvement, the Council was instrumental in sending AB 1889, AB 2126 and AB 2763 to the Governor’s desk. AB 1889 authored by Assemblyman Kevin Mullin helps the state access Proposition 1A high speed rail bond proceeds for the Caltrain electrification and modernization project and AB 2126, also authored by Mullin, would expedite traffic congestion relief improvements on the Highway 101. AB 2763 authored by Assemblyman Mike Gatto revises the public utilities code to include leased or rented vehicles to allow individuals who do not own a car to drive for transportation network companies like Lyft.
The Council also scored huge wins in our work to create the workforce of the future. We supported AB 2329 by Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla to promote computer science education and SB 66 by Senator Connie Leyva to authorize the Department of Consumer Affairs to make licensure information available to the California community colleges. This information is critical in measuring employment outcomes of students who participate in career technical education programs and identifying ways these programs may be improved. To engage in the Council’s government relations work, please contact Policy Manager Cornelious Burke.


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Do You Know the Way… to LA?

Join the Bay Area Council on our trip to Los Angeles from Sept. 19-21 and meet with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation CEO Phil Washington, Metropolitan Water District General Manager Jeff Kightlinger, former Gov. Gray Davis, Southern California Association of Governments, LA Chamber, Los Angeles Economic Development Commission, and enjoy visits to Hyperloop One and Universal Studios, among other locations.

The visit will explore areas where the Los Angeles area has performed well or even outperformed the Bay Area.  We will also work on forming an alliance on key policy areas with our colleagues to the south around housing issues, transportation, water, manufacturing and workforce. Among the trip highlights will be a suite at the Giants vs. Dodgers game on Tuesday evening, one of MLB’s best rivalries, and two-night stay at the legendary Chateau Marmont.

The delegate fee of $3,500 includes airfare and ground transportation, hotel accommodations at Chateau Marmont, dining and networking receptions and the Giants – Dodgers game on Tuesday, Sept. 20. To register or for more details, please contact Membership Associate Matthew Hayes or call Matt at (415) 946-8741.

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First-of-its-Kind Workplace Gender Equity Guide Unveiled

Advancing gender equity in the workplace, especially at the C-suite and Board level, continues to be a major challenge for employers nationwide. The good news is that addressing this challenge would have a tremendous economic payoff as fully implementing gender equity best practices would increase US GDP by 10 percent by 2025 according to McKinsey & Co. To address the systemic underrepresentation of women in the workplace, the Bay Area Council Economic Institute in partnership with Jennifer Siebel Newsom’s The Representation Project today unveiled a first-of-its-kind online strategy guide for businesses - Building Gender Equity in the Workplace – assessing the economics of gender equity and providing actionable practices for businesses to meet the challenge head on.

“We’ve made progress, but it has been too slow,” said Micah Weinberg, President of the Bay Area Council Economic Institute “Gender equality in the workplace is not just a moral and social imperative; it’s a fiscal necessity to a stronger, more competitive economy.”

At today’s launch event in San Francisco, Bay Area Council Gender Equity Committee Co-Chair Peg McAllister of Lee Hecht Harrison welcomed a packed house. Following a presentation of findings by Economic Institute President Micah Weinberg, The Representation Project Founder and CEO Jennifer Siebel Newsom delivered remarks on some of the underlying issues blocking women from advancing as leaders, including unconscious bias and socialization of gender stereotypes.

The cutting-edge practices and strategies included in the guide enable businesses to take a holistic approach in evaluating their hiring practices, evaluation policies, compensation transparency, career development programming, HR policies, leadership diversity and workplace culture needed to grow the talent pool and advance women professionally. Special thanks to project lead partner The Representation Project and regional sponsors San Francisco 49ers, Intel, San Francisco International Airport, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, Lee Hecht Harrison, Deloitte, Wells Fargo, and Suffolk Construction.

Read Building Gender Equity in the Workplace>>

To get involved in the Council’s Gender Equity policy work, please contact Policy Manager Emily Loper.