Explore new workforce tools for closing the soft skills gap in California

580 200 Leah Grassini Moehle

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The New World of Work creates soft skills curriculum and digital badging

Through partnership with the Foundation for California Community Colleges, the New World of Work (NWoW) has developed digital badges for soft skills. A recent report published by Mozilla explained how evidence-based digital badges carry more clout, as they more effectively capture individuals’ skills, interests, and achievements than that listed on a traditional resume.

Since 2012, the NWoW has been building a bridge between education and employment by engaging employers, entrepreneurs, human resource professionals, students, and educators and developing a series of skills panels.

Co-creator and director of the NWoW, Rajinder Gill asked, “What skills are essential in a knowledge economy and for 'gig' contract work?” The California Community Colleges project the gig economy will grow to over 40 percent of the workforce by 2020, shining a light on the importance of soft skill competency.

The answer to these questions led to the release of the Top Ten 21st Century Skills.

Since identifying these essential skills, NWoW has developed a curriculum to teach these soft skills in any high school or college course. The lessons were designed to occur in tandem with work-based learning to provide an opportunity for students to apply the teachings in real world settings.

In addition, through an online platform, students are able to send their digital badges to employers for verification. Once the employer has verified the skill, students can post the badge on Linked In and list it on a resume. A verified badge increases the competitive edge and value of students and job seekers in the current job market.  

For more information, please contact the New World of Work.

Career Catalyst makes it easier for employers to hire workers

The Foundation for California Community Colleges has developed an innovative program to address the challenges many employers face when hiring a worker or intern. Employers who use Career Catalyst would be allowed to shift the ‘employer of record’ to the Foundation.

As the employer of record, the Foundation then assumes the liability, performs all human resource functions, workers compensation, leaves of absences, unemployment claims, taxes, processes payroll, and ensures the individuals are prepared and compensated for their work on the job. 

Offering full back-office support by a third party makes it easy and efficient for employers to provide more work-based learning opportunities and fill a job vacancy.  As a result, this program also serves youth, students, and adult workers interested in gaining valuable work experience.

The contract between the Foundation and employer, community-based organization, or workforce investment board is established on a case-by-case basis. A more flexible approach to entering these contracts makes the process individualized to fit the clients' interests and needs.

For more information, please contact the Foundation.

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LaunchPath – Newer version is much more than just a matchmaker

A program that helps connect employers with students hoping to gain real-life work experience before they graduate is expanding the kinds of opportunities available.

Historically, LaunchPath has been used throughout California to match employers to students looking for internship opportunities. Students would receive a match score based on their information. 

Over the last year, more users have expressed interest for LaunchPath to incorporate a management tool that could be used to broker even more work-based learning opportunities – job shadows, lectures, job fairs.

This new tool also gives intermediary organizations the power to post on behalf of an employer and manage the relationship. For many civic leaders – non-profits, chambers of commerce, business councils – this is often the work they already do informally for employers they serve.

Adding this management tool to LaunchPath makes it more efficient for intermediaries – education and workforce – to connect students to internships and manage the work for employers. Plus, LaunchPath is very easy to set up and features a new “soft skill badging” component.

For more information, please contact LaunchPath.

Leah Grassini Moehle is Program Manager of the California Economic Summit's Workforce Challenge


Leah Grassini Moehle

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