Gig economy event in L.A. looks to the future

580 200 Ed Coghlan

(Photo: Pxhere)

The “Gig Economy” is continuing to rapidly expand. By 2027, it’s expected that a majority of workers will be on short-term contracts or freelance work as opposed to permanent jobs.

It’s radically changing the world of work.

This Friday in Los Angeles, the California Community Colleges and the Entrepreneur Network of Los Angeles are sponsoring a daylong “Gig To Career” event. Hundreds of entrepreneurs, gig workers and students are expected to attend.

“As the gig economy continues to grow across California, people need to know how to utilize the services that are available to help them position themselves in a fast-changing market and to grow their own business,” said Chuck Eason—Small Business Sector Navigator for the Community Colleges. “That's why we are happy to sponsor the event to broaden access to the best thinking for the gig worker.”

Keynote speakers, workshops and entertainment are expected at event taking place at Convene LA. The program was designed to inform the eclectic audience.

“We expect a total mix of millennials, entrepreneurs, and freelancers of all ages, so we have provided a mix of learning workshops, networking, and inspirational speakers at the event,” said Rick Hodge, career technical education dean at Los Angeles Southwest College.

One of those speakers is Sonya Kay Blake, director of community business for the L.A. Mayor’s Office of Economic Development.

“I’ll be sharing that there are tools that are available for people in the gig economy to help them improve the lives of themselves and their families,” said Blake. “The gig economy can be a stepping stone for people to get ahead and maybe own their own business.”

Blake noted that the wealth gap is a huge issue in L.A. (and elsewhere) and she plans to shine a light on opportunities and encourage people to think big and that the city is a great place for the entrepreneur.

Dr. Terri Horton is a workforce futurist, skills, learning and artificial intelligence business strategist and will address both the impact and the opportunities that A.I. (artificial intelligence) provide.

“I’ll be talking about the opportunities between humans and the machines,” she said. “People think of A.I. and its robots as taking jobs, while I will be suggesting ways that people can see the opportunities for jobs in the future.”

For the California Economic Summit, the future of work in the fast-changing California economy is a top priority—and the explosion of the gig worker number demands a new way to think about employment.

“Summit partners are assessing and working to redefine a social impact for the irregular (gig) economy,” said Jim Mayer, CEO of California Forward, which operates the Summit with the California Stewardship Network. “We must find policy solutions that can support this large and growing segment of the job market.”

You can register for the Gig to Career event here.

Read more about the role of higher education in preparing workers for the gig economy.


Ed Coghlan

All stories by: Ed Coghlan