LAEDC Future Forum to chart next path for the LA Basin workforce

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The home of more than 10 million people and a nearly trillion-dollar economy, the Los Angeles region’s future is intricately tied to the fortunes of its people. How to keep them working and thriving through volatile economic changes will be the focus of an upcoming forum hosted by the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC).

The LAEDC’s Future Forum: The Future of Work in Los Angeles event on October 3 will mark the official release of the LAEDC Center for Competitive Workforce’s (CCW) inaugural “Future of Work” report and coincide with speakers – including keynote speaker and WorkingNation Founder/CEO Art Bilger – and panelists discussing solutions on how to lead Los Angeles’ workforce into 21st-century careers.

The CCW report is the beginning of collaborative effort between the LAEDC and the Los Angeles/Orange County Regional Consortium’s (LAOCRC) 19 community colleges to better align the educational needs of the workforce to adapt to the rapidly-changing demands of regional employers. The report will offer a look at the current state of the skills of the workforce and what the LAOCRC schools need to focus on moving into the next decade.

California is investing heavily in its community colleges to meet this demand through its Strong Workforce Program and this was the impetus for the creation of the CCW. The CCW is using data-driven analysis to identify emerging career paths and forging public-private partnerships with industry leaders to keep the talent pipeline flowing. It also serves to guide community colleges in developing curricula to match skills with technology and help workers avoid obsolescence.

“Multiple strategies for training by the community colleges will be required to support the transition of those displaced by automation, especially as technology advances at such a fast pace. But as the information age continues to change the nature of work, jobs are being created, albeit with new skills requirements, and the sea change in skills requirements reinforces the value of directly comparing the real and evolving demand for skills at employers with the supply of talent generated by our community college programs,” the L.A. Director of the LAOCRC Richard Verches said in an email interview.

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Both the Future Forum and the CCW report come at a pivotal point where the region’s future will be shaped by the community colleges’ ability to produce skilled graduates across a diversifying range of career options, from high-tech bioscience and aerospace to traditional “vocational” careers like construction. And with skilled workers at all levels in high demand across the nation, Verches said the work the CCW is doing is arriving at the right time.

“Competition for talent will increase or be more targeted so the partnership between industry and higher education couldn’t be more timely,” Verches said, “Intentional efforts to better align and coordinate talent development priorities, investments, efforts and output based on common data sources, consistent employer intel and systematic participation of educators will make these industries more competitive and profitable.”

Highlighting the challenges of creating the future workforce will be the centerpiece of the Future Forum as the speakers and panelists take on topics such as the impact of technology – via automation, Artificial Intelligence, virtual medicine, digital entertainment and the rise of the gig economy – to how to create more accessibility for all LA County residents to re-skill in the face of such tremendous change.

Scheduled to appear at the Future Forum (Sponsored by CSU Dominguez Hills):

The Future Forum: The Future of Work in Los Angeles County – Building a Competitive Workforce in Southern California, will take place on October 3, 7:30-10:30 a.m. at the South Park Center Penthouse, 1150 S. Olive Street, Los Angeles.

For more info and registration: click here.

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