Whether you’re flipping through a newspaper or clicking on a news website, it’s hard not encounter a story these days about the demise of the middle-class. And, more accurately, the dearth of middle-income jobs. It’s an issue that’s particularly acute in the Bay Area. Findings presented at the 8th Annual Bay Area Council Economic Institute Forecast last week (Jan. 16) showed that median household income has fallen 9 percent in the Bay Area since 2008 and 10 percent statewide.

This troubling trend is among the reasons the Bay Area Council’s Executive Committee has set among our top priorities for 2015 finding innovative ways to meet our future workforce needs, with particular focus on growing middle-income jobs and better aligning higher education, including community colleges, state universities and the University of California, outcomes to meet the needs of employers.

It’s also why we’re partnering with JPMorgan Chase in its nationwide New Skills at Work initiative to bring attention to this issue and create solutions. This week, JPMorgan Chase released a report examining the diminished opportunities that low-income youths and young people of color have in finding summer jobs that can give them skills and work experience needed to prepare them for future workforce opportunities. The Council will continue to highlight this important issue and we invite you to join us. A recent report by our Bay Area Council Economic Institute called for overhauling California’s higher education system to better align with workforce needs. To engage in our workforce of the future program, contact Vice President Linda Galliher.

Read the JPMorgan Chase report on summer youth employment>>

Read our report: Reforming California Higher Education for the 21st Century>>

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