In order for the Sacramento region to remain competitive in global markets, we must ensure next generation career pathways exist for middle skills jobs. This means meeting the highest priority workforce needs of employers and aligning employment needs with community college and other education and training resources for high demand occupations, including those in the food and agriculture fields that are so important to the region’s economy.
What is the goal?
The goal is to implement the Capital Region Workforce Action Plan—developed by Valley Vision in 2016—for the Sacramento region’s $7.2 billion food and ag cluster.
Why is this important?
Ensuring a skilled workforce for one of the region’s most dominant industry clusters will strengthen the regional economy and provide pathways out of poverty for workers and youth as well as opportunities for upgrading skills of current workers to keep pace with changing markets and technologies.
How does this work improve people’s lives?
Creating a pipeline of new farmers in both urban and rural areas will help farms and ranches remain productive and competitive. The effort also serves to reduce conversion of these landscapes to urban uses, which in turn will help the region improve air quality and increase access to healthy foods in underserved communities. Since the food and ag sector includes far more employers than farmers, this work will also help keep farm-related businesses local and bring food processing back to the region, reducing vehicle miles traveled for farmers and keeping more dollars in the region.
What is Valley Vision’s role?
Valley Vision is leading a collaboration of employers and workforce development, education, industry associations, economic development, nonprofit and community partners to foster food and ag career pathways programs to tackle skills gaps, create new jobs and educational opportunities, and support existing businesses throughout the six-county Capital Region. The project is supporting development of non-traditional apprenticeship programs and work-based learning, and promoting career awareness among those entering the workforce or seeking new career opportunities. The project also is assisting companies across the cluster value chain such as food processors and food entrepreneurs.
Valley Vision’s workforce development projects are ongoing. This particular project is funded by Morgan Family Foundation through 2017.