2019 PIE Contest looking for successful workforce partnerships in California

610 200 Ed Coghlan

One of the 2018 PIE Contest winners was a healthcare workforce program at Maurine Church Coburn School of Nursing (Photo: MCCSN)

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2019 Partnerships for Industry and Education (PIE) Contest, which identifies and rewards employer-education partnership programs that are making quantifiable progress in preparing California workers for the 21st century economy.

This year marks the third time the California Economic Summit has promoted the PIE awards. Past winners have been identified from economic sectors across California including aerospace manufacturing, steel manufacturing, early childhood education, construction and health care.

“For Californians to have the skills required for jobs in the 21st century, employers and educators will need to work more intentionally together,” said Jim Mayer, CEO of California Forward, which manages the California Economic Summit with the California Stewardship Network. “Across the state, visionary business, education and civic leaders are rising to the occasion.”

California economic leaders—who are keenly aware of the need to upskill current workers and train those for the rapidly changing job demands in our economy—are showing their support for the PIE contest.

“The need for a more skilled workforce exists in every one of our 58 counties,” said Lenny Mendonca, Governor Newsom’s chief economic adviser. “The PIE contest is an excellent way to identify public-private partnerships that are working to fill that need. In addition, we believe that some of these partnerships, which serve a regional need have the potential to be scaled up to meet workforce requirements in all corners of the state.”

The criteria for the PIE contest are twofold:

  • A partnership between an employer (public or private) and a California educational institution (K-12, higher education, public and/or private)
  • Ability to demonstrate specific success outcomes

“The PIE contest is a great opportunity for education to showcase partnerships with employers across California,” said Sheneui Weber, Vice Chancellor of Workforce and Economic Development for the California Community Colleges. “The many successful employer engagement programs at our colleges help students enter and advance in their careers, and this contest is a wonderful way to celebrate our workforce programs, thanks to CA Fwd.”

The top three partnerships will each earn one complimentary two-day registration to the 2019 California Economic Summit taking place on November 7-8 in Fresno, where the winners will be publicly recognized. Each will be offered the opportunity to showcase their work and share promising practices with peers.

To learn more and to submit your nomination, you can do so here. Nominations are due by June 15. And in case you’re wondering, you can submit more than one nomination and you may self-nominate. Staff will follow up with nominees to help with the full application.

“The PIE Contest will hopefully inspire even more cooperation between employers and education to accelerate the number of trained workers our economy so desperately needs,” said Dr. Alma Salazar, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce senior vice president for the Chamber's Center for Education Excellence & Talent Development.

If you know of innovative partnerships between California employers and educators – nominate them today! These are individuals and organizations who are working together to better prepare the workforce for the future and provide local industry the skilled talent they need to succeed. They deserve notoriety.

To read about winners in the 2017 PIE Contest, click here.

To read about winners in the 2018 PIE Contest, click here.

Nominators are welcome to nominate partnerships they are involved in and also to nominate more than one partnership by filling out the form multiple times.



Ed Coghlan

All stories by: Ed Coghlan