2023 Impact: UNITE-LA’s Work with CA FWD in 2023

UNITE-LA co-hosted a Regional Energy Policy Convening in August in partnership with CA FWD, focused on the opportunities, barriers and resources needed to make energy independence and reliability a reality. UNITE-LA was invited to share best practices related to cleantech workforce development through the LA Regional Cleantech Academy and featured our partners from Avantus, LACI and LACCD as speakers in the program. UNITE-LA facilitated a breakout discussion focused on the workforce pipeline in the energy sector, while other conversations focused on the hydrogen economy and solar energy. Input gathered from these sessions informed statewide policy advocacy, building on CA FWD's Energy Call to Action and Infrastructure Acceleration Report, which provide a framework for how stakeholders can break through silos and work across sectors to advance energy solutions.

Co-developed two Education focused sessions for the annual California FWD Economic Summit in October, including the first ever session on Child Care, Early Learning and the Economy to elevate the need to support a more dynamic and equitable workforce through increased investments for quality early childhood care and education. The session featured expert speakers, including the Women's National Law Center, Santa Rosa Chamber, Mission Driven Finance, San Diego SBDC and TOOTRiS, who comprehensively elevated the need to support a more dynamic and equitable workforce through increased investments quality early childhood care and education. The Office of the Governor provided an overview of the recent Executive Order on Career Education to advance key priorities, including coordinated policy implementation and higher education and workforce alignment and a call to action to develop a new Master Plan for Career Education, which will serve as a roadmap to strengthen career pathways, emphasize hands-on learning, streamline access to benefits and increase affordability of college. The Summit's top findings will be incorporated into a shared, economic agenda in CA FWD's Roadmap to Shared Prosperity, to set the stage for collective action.

UNITE-LA also successfully highlighted the intended impacts of the L.A. Region K-16 Collaborative and the Golden State Pathways program to build stronger, more equitable talent pipelines for all Californians alongside workgroup co-leads Dr. Su Jin Jez, Cal Competes, and Jermaine Hampton with LAEDC during the broader Education & Workforce session. The session featured an insightful panel discussion with executives from the Linked Learning Alliance, Futuro Health, F3 AgTec Workforce, Gladeo and Western Governors University who uplifted examples of strong public-private sector partnerships to create better-connected education and workforce systems in some of the most vital industries such as health care and agriculture. Participants had the opportunity to discuss additional needs/solutions with each other and some common themes rose to the top:

  • Need for creating education workforce and industry high-road partnerships.
  • Leveraging technology and making it accessible to different types of learners.
  • Access-driven strategies and resources for underserved communities.
  • Leverage data/research to provide stronger information.
  • Elevate benefits and availability of higher ed and training programs.
  • Public/private partnerships to build stronger coalitions.

Additional 2023 success by UNITE-LA's Business Engagement Strategy Team (BEST) include:

  • Curated and facilitated a panel for the L.A. Area Chamber's annual ACCESS D.C. trip to elevate the dire need for collaboration between business, government, local education agencies, nonprofit organizations, and the philanthropic community to uplift our early care and education workforce, featuring Congressman Jimmy Gomez, Leader of the Dads Caucus, National Women's Law Center, and First 5 Los Angeles.

  • As affiliate leads for the West Coast for Business Leaders United (BLU) we jointly elevated key federal workforce advocacy opportunities with our state network of business organizations. We were pleased to elevate a BLU Advocacy letter for business association signatures to urge Congress to continue to fund workforce investments as they moved through the appropriations process last month. A critical piece of that happens through federal workforce programs, making it crucial for Congress to fund and enhance skills training programs for the 2024 fiscal year without cuts.

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