building connections among universities and employers

The colleges and universities of the San Francisco Bay Area helped create Silicon Valley, the economic phenomenon that’s made the region the envy of the world. And yet not every student living in the Bay Area today has an equal chance of receiving the college education they need in order to succeed.

Under the auspices of Stanford’s Year of Learning initiative, a panel of experts including Bay Area Council Economic Institute Senior Director Sean Randolph met recently to tease out how this situation came to be, and ask how the region’s post-secondary ecosystem might evolve to help sustain the economic growth it has enabled while also spreading the benefits of that growth to all who live and work in the area.

The discussion reinforced the work that the Council’s Workforce of the Future Committee, under the leadership of Executive Committee members Teresa Briggs of Deloitte and Glenn Shannon of Shorenstein Properties, is doing to strengthen connections between the region’s employers and its universities and colleges. To engage with our Workforce of the Future Committee, please contact Senior Vice President Linda Bidrossian.

Randolph said the region faces a massive skills gap, with an estimated 1-2 million workers being undertrained, and a rapidly shifting demographic profile that educational institutions must acknowledge if they’re to bring those new populations into the economy. He suggested the answer lies in better regional coordination to ensure that educational resources match needs, more web-based tools for education, and increasing funding for career technical education and for entrepreneurial training and support.

Read the Economic Institute’s White Paper on Higher Education Reform>>

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