The Capital Region Workforce Action Plan builds upon a region-wide economic analysis conducted in 2012 which turned attention to six promising industry clusters the Sacramento region could tap for job creation and growth opportunity:
- Advanced Manufacturing
- Clean Energy Technology
- Education and Knowledge Creation
- Food and Agriculture
- Health Care and Life Sciences
- Information and Communications Technology
Two additional industry clusters of opportunity were added for analyses as economic recovery from the Great Recession continues:
- Hospitality and Tourism (forthcoming in 2018)
These industry clusters deliver innate advantages to the region and the strongest potential for growth based on economic performance indicators. Together with our prevailing government sectors these clusters comprise a diversified, robust and sustainable regional economy.
In 2016, JPMorgan Chase & Co. awarded funding to Valley Vision to conduct new analyses for the original six industry clusters, and two additional clusters: construction; and hospitality and tourism. Conducted by Valley Vision and the Center of Excellence at Lois Rios Community College District, assessments identified critical skills gaps, high-demand occupations, and investments needed to build a skilled and competitive workforce. These findings resulted in the development and ongoing implementation of a region-wide Workforce Action Plan for each industry cluster.
What is the goal?
The goal is to identify critical workforce skills gaps within the region’s highest growth clusters; mobilize and align cluster stakeholders around job strategies in those clusters; create targeted workforce action plans that close skills gaps, increase education and training resources, and improve economic impact of the clusters.
Why is this important?
Current assessments of industry clusters and workforce needs is necessary to understand the skills gap issues prevalent in economic clusters, align efforts across stakeholders, and strategically plan for continued prosperity, job creation and growth.
Plus, facing numerous workforce challenges — such as an aging workforce, not enough supply of skilled workers to fill open positions, millennials wanting to work in “cool” high paying companies like tech firms rather than manufacturing jobs, and current applicants having little or no hands-on experience — the region has not realized the full potential of the economy recovery. The research and action plans help identify employers’ needs and are assisting educational institutes better understand what they must provide to address the workforce skills gaps.
How does this improve people’s lives?
Our research identified emerging areas of job growth and critical skills gaps in key occupations. Economic prosperity will increase as a result of new strategies that ensure a skilled workforce and thereby allowing companies to expand and be more competitive. Many middle skill jobs offering quality employment and career opportunities go unfilled because workers lack needed skills. Aligning education and training resources to prepare both new and existing workers with pathways to gain requisite skills will both increase their employability and also provide new opportunities for income mobility.
What is Valley Vision’s role?
Leveraging existing partnerships, strong regional networks and the baseline work of Next Economy, Valley Vision released a total of six Next Economy Cluster Workforce Needs Assessment reports and an additional Key Findings: Next Economy Cluster Findings report. Each provides a current analysis of the cluster’s industry trends, economic impact, occupational outlook and educational program assessment.
Valley Vision then convened six cluster-specific forums to vet findings, identify priorities and recommend action strategies. This research and engagement process activated champions and created leadership opportunities within the cluster. The information has helped industry stakeholders, educators and workforce and economic development specialists make smart and coordinated decisions. Valley Vision continues to convene stakeholders to advance the seven action plans. In partnership with Los Rios Center of Excellence, Valley Vision will also create additional Workforce Assessments Reports for the Construction and Hospitality and Tourism clusters, and conduct additional research on the region’s Clean Economy and the Food and Agriculture clusters to get a more holistic understanding.
What is our desired impact?
To understand the needs of emerging growth sectors and the structure of the economy. Research will be used to inform a region-wide workforce skills action plan that will align education and training with regional employment demands. By understanding where job growth potential exists, we are able to target action plans to those needs and ensure that the Sacramento Capital Region has the skilled workforce needed to drive a growing global economy.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. awarded Valley Vision the research grant in July 2015. The project began in the fall of 2015 and all six cluster reports were completed in May 2016. A Regional Workforce Summit was held in May 2016 and the Key Findings: Next Economy Cluster Research report was released in August 2016.
Through a second two-year grant awarded by JPMorgan Chase & Co. awarded August 2016, a second phase of work continues until July 2018.
Our partners …
Maximizing the investment from the JPMorgan Chase & Co., Valley Vision is partnering with the Centers for Excellence, Los Rios Community Colleges District to conduct the cluster analysis.