California employers praise CA Economic Summit’s PIE Contest

580 200 Ed Coghlan

Trainees at the InTECH Training Center, one of the winning partnerships of the 2017 PIE Contest (Photo Credit: InTech Training Center)

The California Economic Summit’s effort to honor strong public-private partnerships that are successfully helping California meets its workforce challenge is receiving praise from employers across California.

The Summit’s Partnerships for Industry and Education (PIE) contest is in its second year and is designed to promote programs where employers and educators are working together to meet regional and state workforce needs. Programs are being nominated and winners will be honored at the Summit's annual statewide gathering, which will be held in Santa Rosa on November 15-16.

“Identifying and honoring successful public-private partnerships that are helping the state meet its workforce needs is a worthy goal,” said Dr. Alma Salazar, Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce senior vice president for the Chamber's Center for Education Excellence & Talent Development. “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.” 

One of the winning programs at the 2017 Summit was the relationship between international aerospace giant Northrop Grumman and Antelope Valley College which resulted in the Palmdale college's Aircraft Fabrication and Assembly Program that has provided hundreds of inexperienced students with entry-level skills for the aerospace industry and experienced students with upgraded skills.

“Northrop Grumman's partnership with the Antelope Valley College has helped the local community and private industry come together to provide a successful program for local residents to attend the local college and obtain the skills necessary to enter the career opportunities provided by the local industries,” said Orv Dothage, integration manager at Northrop Grumman. “The California Economic Summit's Partnership for Industry and Education contest is a great vehicle to show how employers and educators can work together to address the country's workforce needs.”  

“We attracted 30 nominations last year and expect to receive many more than that this year,” said Leah Grassini Moehle, program manager for California Forward, which organizes the Summit. “There are many successful programs making real progress in our cities, counties and school districts that deserve recognition.”

Nominated partnerships will be evaluated around three main characteristics:

  1. Use of labor market data and the needs of the employer
  2. A clear direction on common goals
  3. Investments and results measured, monitored and managed to meet the needs of the employer and the market

For Julian Canete, president and CEO of the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, the PIE contest may also help inspire more public-private partnerships that better prepare workers for California’s dynamic economy.

“To be professionally competitive in any industry, employees must be equipped with knowledge and attributes to ensure their success,” Canete said. “With PIE, we are bridging the opportunities to prospects and ensuring pathways for professional and economic development.”

To nominate a program you believe worthy of consideration for the 2018 PIE Contest, please click here.

The Summit has been working on California's workforce preparedness problem for the past seven years. The challenge of having enough skilled workers for 21st-century jobs was identified from day one as something that needs to be improved in order to protect the state's global economic standing.

The Summit network of public, private and civic sector leaders has championed initiatives aimed at the triple bottom line: seeking to simultaneously advance economic growth, ensure environmental quality and provide opportunity for all Californians.

The California Economic Summit has emerged as the only statewide venue with a comprehensive agenda for taking on the challenges of our time, reducing income inequality, increasing economic security and community resiliency.

You can register to attend the 2018 California Economic Summit here.  


Ed Coghlan

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