Apprenticeship Gaining Steam as a Key Tool in California’s Workforce Strategy

The Bay Area Council is committed to apprenticeship programs as key to developing a workforce that meets the talent demands of business while reducing barriers of entry for historically underrepresented communities. This week, Council Policy Manager Henry Bartholomay participated in a panel discussion at the California Conference on Apprenticeship in Monterey, underscoring the importance of the Northern California Apprentice Network in expanding apprenticeship into growing industries including tech, biotech, healthcare, professional services, and insurance. Bartholomay (pictured above, far left) was joined by Jessica Fields, Head of Northern California at Aon, Kennan Scott, Vice President at Bitwise, and John Dunn, Regional Director of Apprenticeship at the Bay Area Community College Consortium in a discussion that highlighted the early successes of the Network, while underscoring the need for more employers to join the effort.

The Conference featured workforce development leaders from across the state, as well as California Secretary of Labor & Workforce Development Natalie Palugyai. Secretary Palugyai emphasized the need for more coordination and collaboration across government leadership, expansion of apprenticeship into new industries beyond the trades, and the need to shift from a college for all mindset to an approach that values other pathways to employment such as apprenticeship. As we near Governor Newsom’s May budget revise, there will be significant funding for workforce development programs and apprenticeships across growing industries. Now is the time to expand programming that supports apprenticeships, and the Council will be hard at work in 2022 to ensure the Bay Area is well-positioned to leverage state investments that will bring family-sustaining job opportunities to our community, and support our region’s business needs for talent. To learn more and get involved, please contact Senior Policy Manager, Henry Bartholomay.

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