Workforce of the Future

Building the Workforce of the Future

On Saturday, April 18, the Bay Area Council received the crushing blow when our beloved Linda Bidrossian – the Senior Vice President of Public Policy and leader of our Workforce of the Future Initiative – passed away. Linda, just 54 years old, was an especially vibrant, vivacious, successful and saucy member of our team, and we loved her deeply. Our tribute to Linda>>

The Bay Area is home to one of the most innovative economies in the world, but many employers are having to look outside of the region to find talent for their open positions. Employers are struggling to find local talent that is trained for their changing workforce needs and this is only being compounded by the impacts of COVID-19.   It is imperative that we strengthen employer connections with local educators and community-based training organizations to build candidate capacity here in the Bay Area. As thousands lose their jobs as a result of COVID-19, a coordinated response to retrain and upskill our local talent will be essential to the continued economic vitality in the region.

The Bay Area Council’s Workforce of the Future Committee runs programs that improve income outcomes for diverse workers in the region through improved connections between educators and employer members of the Council. By building collaborative employer-educator partnerships, the Council strengthens talent pipelines for high demand jobs while building career pathways for the region’s diverse talent. The Council scales innovative training programs such as tech apprenticeships, online education, and on-the-job training to connect employers with local talent and build new opportunities for the region’s future workforce.

2020 Activities & COVID-19 Response

  • Respond to the workforce impacts of COVID-19 by upskilling and retraining unemployed workers into in-demand roles
  • Scale innovative training programs such as tech apprenticeships, online education, and on-the-job training throughout the Bay Area, with a focus on serving those who have been directly impacted by COVID-19
  • Connect diverse talent to employers with career pathways through curated career fairs, resume reading, and paid internship opportunities through partnerships with community-based organizations, with a focus on youth of color, low-income workers, and immigrants and refugees
  • Identify employer needs and diagnose skills gaps through Occupational Councils, that are designed to remove hiring barriers and identify talent sources for high-demand occupations
  • Convene community-based talent training organizations to align outcomes for their candidates while simplifying the data capture and analysis of these outcomes
  • Share best practices with educators, community-based talent trainers, and employers throughout the region through webinars and committee meetings
  • Advocate for workforce policy change. Through participation in the Regional Economic Association of Leaders of California (R.E.A.L.) Coalition, The Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS), and the National Skills Coalition, the Workforce of the Future Committee supports workforce policies that prioritize employer input in workforce development throughout the state.


Get Involved!

Workforce of the Future Committee: Committee meetings are open to all members. Please join us to shape the workforce of the future for the Bay Area. For more information email and check out our upcoming events>>

Participate in our industry initiatives: The Council convenes member leadership in critical, high-demand industries including Aviation, Construction, Healthcare and Technology. To learn more and get involved email

Committee Co-Chairs

Mahesh Kharkar, Northern California Market President of Commercial Banking, US Bank
Julius Robinson, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility for the Americas, Union Bank

Policy Leads

Leslie Alfaro image
Leslie Alfaro

Policy Manager

(415) 946-8707

Henry Bartholomay image
Henry Bartholomay

Senior Policy Manager

(415) 946-8747

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