Skills for CA is statewide network of organizations advancing workforce development policies that remove systemic barriers and promote an inclusive economy for all Californians.
Skills for California Guiding Principles
In communities across California, people are striving to move into good jobs and improve their economic circumstances. Meanwhile, businesses are looking for new ways to grow and diversify their workforce to compete in a rapidly changing and increasingly global economy. California’s policy leaders have the chance to support individual aspirations and boost business growth through inclusive workforce development policies.
While workforce development can’t be the only solution, it’s crucial to creating a more inclusive economy for all Californians. Here’s why:
- Many good jobs in California require education and training beyond high school but not a four-year degree; these jobs are in key industries such as manufacturing, health services, and construction. Many Californians want to secure good jobs, , but don’t have access to education and training opportunities. For nearly one in four Californians living in or near poverty, costs such as tuition, books, supplies, transportation, and childcare make education and training out of reach.
- California’s diversity is one of its biggest assets. The majority of the state’s residents are people of color and over one-quarter are immigrants. Yet generations of policies that systemically limited economic opportunity for communities of color have resulted in racial disparities in education, employment, and earnings. California must address these inequities to secure a vibrant economic future.
- California must adopt workforce development policies that reflect the assets and aspirations of all of its people. Policies that create more opportunities for workers of color, immigrants, refugees, opportunity youth, individuals with disabilities, justice-involved individuals, Californians paid low incomes and others who face barriers to economic opportunity will be key to realizing the full benefits of California’s workforce.
Skills for CA Leadership Council
The Skills for California Leadership Council informs the development and activities of the Skills for California Network. Members of the Leadership Council represent a wide range of advocates, researchers, and practitioners from across the state who work towards advancing a collective workforce policy agenda that upholds our guiding principles of equity, systems innovation, and pathways to good jobs to ensure that we promote an inclusive economy for all Californians.
Skills for CA Leadership Council Members
Luis Barrera-Castanon, Senior Director, Strategic Operations – Goodwill Southern California
Erica Bouris, Technical Advisor – International Rescue Committee
Amber Chatman, Director, Workforce Systems and Policy – Unite-LA
Rebecca Hanson, Executive Director – The Education Fund
Rob Hope, Senior Initiative Officer and Director – ReWork the Bay / San Francisco Foundation
Sean Hughes, Policy Director, California Opportunity Youth Network
Abbie Langston, Director, Equitable Economy – PolicyLink
Bob Lanter, Executive Director – California Workforce Association
Eric Morrison Smith, Policy Director – Alliance for Boys and Men of Color
Edgar Ortiz, Economic Justice Policy Analyst – California Immigrant Policy Center
David Palter, Senior Director, Higher Education and Workforce Development – Silicon Valley Leadership Group
Julia Root, Director of Development – Creating Restorative Opportunities and Programs
Luis Sandoval, Development Director – Building Skills Partnership
Andrea Vizenor, Dean of Strategic Partnerships & Workforce Development – Skyline College
Jeffrey Wallace, President and CEO – LeadersUp
Kate Kinder, State Strategies Director – National Skills Coalition
Karina Paredes-Arzola, State Network Manager – National Skills Coalition
Zima Creason, Executive Director – CA EDGE Coalition
Anna Alvarado, Policy Director – CA EDGE Coalition
Jaclyn Moreno, Program Director – CA EDGE Coalition