Will California Have the Talent It Needs to Compete Economically?

Are students and job seekers getting the education and training employers need to compete in a rapidly changing and global economy? To help answer that question, the Bay Area Council partnered with Pearson to host The Building the Future of California Talent Symposium on Monday, bringing together over 150 educators, employers and community leaders to discuss innovative solutions for better aligning and tailoring educational programs to ensure a strong pipeline of future talent. Fittingly, the event took place at the Exploratorium, a place of experimentation, curiosity, and collaboration. It delivered. 

The day began with a conversation on current hiring trends and the importance of having all stakeholders engaged. As technology continues to quickly evolve, students and learners will need to be able to adapt to a model of continuous learning. This can only be accomplished when public, private, academic and government entities come together. One thing was clear throughout the day, there is no one solution that will resolve all the issues that the future of work will bring. Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Julie Su led a discussion focused on some of the creative ways companies are rising to the challenges of upskilling and job preparedness, including with in-house training and education programs like IBM’s P-Tech, AWS’s Educate, and Accenture’s Apprenticeship Program.

The day was full of great ideas, with thought leadership coming from a strong array of speakers including Labor Sec. Su; Lenny Mendonca, Chief Economic and Business Advisor to Governor Newsom and former Bay Area Council Chair; Aneesh Raman, Senior Advisor on Economic Strategy and External Relations to Governor Newsom; and top leaders from Accenture, The Aspen Institute, AWS, Cognizant, Google, IBM, McKinsey and Pearson.

Said Workforce of the Future Committee Chair Mahesh Kharkar, Northern California Market President for US Bank: “The Building the Future of California Talent Symposium was an important event for our community. It brought together the perspectives of educators, government officials and business leaders. The aim, among other things, was to foster tangible solutions that will eventually lead to full participation of our diverse workforce in all aspects of our thriving economy. The Bay Area Council’s leadership in the endeavor contributes in a significant way to the financial well-being of our entire community.” 

The symposium was only the beginning of the conversation. The Council looks forward to continuing this work throughout the year in a series of quarterly events. To engage in the Council’s workforce initiative, please contact Senior Vice President Linda Bidrossian.

Thank you to our partner Pearson Education and our generous sponsors, Accenture and Cognizant.

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