* College and Career Readiness in the Capital Region
Regions across the U.S. that have great jobs and high employment are those regions that work strategically to align education with their economic objectives. The Sacramento region’s educational pipeline consists of a strong and diverse mix of educational institutions that provide a variety of opportunities to develop the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the workforce. Yet, if those skills are not appropriately matched to employment needs or if employers encounter difficulty in finding skilled applicants to fill highly technical positions in a range of specialties, it puts the region at a disadvantage and imposes a critical barrier to growth and success. Align Capital Region (ACR) is the answer to meeting that challenge. ACR is an innovative operating system for aligning resources to achieve greater outcomes in education, workforce development, and community vitality. Valley Vision is proud to have partnered with a number of organizations in shaping the foundational model for Align Capital Region, and we continue to partner with Align Capital Region to advance the goals of educational attainment, college readiness, career readiness, and community vitality. For more information, visit www.aligncap.org.
What is the goal?
Valley Vision was initially engaged on the College and Career Readiness Planning project to design and carry out a unified strategy backed by a sustainable structure that coordinates college and career readiness efforts across the entire Sacramento region. This includes cross-sector resource alignment and a mutual support system from academia and the private sector around a common vision that aligns college and career readiness efforts with regional workforce needs. Our ongoing goal is to help Align Capital Region optimize structures and systems to promote the greatest impact.
Why is this important?
This work is important because young, educated people are both an indicator of and a significant contributor to a region’s economic vitality. In fact, a skilled labor force is one of the primary factors companies consider when locating to or expanding within a community. The Sacramento region represents a diverse geography and is home to a wide array of jurisdictions and agencies that includes seven counties, 70 school districts, eight community colleges, multiple public and private universities and technical education schools, 2.5 million residents and more than 10,000
+ employers across multiple industry sectors. With such diversity, businesses, community leaders and education organizations are not as engaged in or aligned around college and career readiness efforts to the extent and scale needed for community-wide impact.
What is Valley Vision doing about it?
Valley Vision has helped create the structure for and continues its engagement in the Align Capital Region initiative. In the first phase, Valley Vision partnered with Alignment USA, a national Collective Impact organization supporting youth empowerment and success, and Ford Next Generation Learning, a national initiative and framework mobilizing educators, employers and community leaders to create a coordinating structure for the region, resulting in the launch of Align Capital Region in spring 2017. The initiative was funded by the Los Rios Community College Foundation with coordination from the Foundation for California Community Colleges. Valley Vision continues its partnership with Align Capital Region by advising on process, organizational development, stakeholder enlistment, and communications strategy.
What is our desired impact?
Through the first phase of the project, Valley Vision, Alignment USA, Ford Next Generation Learning, and all the project partners successfully secured a high degree of cross-sector support around a common vision, most significantly by designing a sustainable organizational structure in Align Capital Region, which now serves as the backbone organization that coordinates college and career readiness efforts throughout an eight county area. Our current focus is to bring the initiative to scale throughout the Greater Sacramento Region, resulting in tight connectivity between educators and employers, a prepared and prosperous workforce, and a fourishing economy.
How does this effort affect triple-bottom-line objectives?
Economy: The initiative directly supports the region's economic goals by increasing job readiness and developing a skilled employment pipeline prepared to meet the region’s workforce needs.
Environment: The initiative focuses on career pathways within high growth business sectors, including clean tech and green industries, both of which are a major job growth centers for the region.
Equity: By improving educational and career outcomes for all students, the initiative directly builds social equity.
Valley Vision participated in the initial design and community engagement work from Fall 2015 through Fall 2016. Align Capital Region held its public kick-off in March 2017. Valley Vision continues to partner with and support the strategic objectives of Align Capital Region.