Future of Work Summit - Valley Vision

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Future of Work Summit

SVP Sacramento was excited to be a part of Valley Vision’s Future of Work Summit. The Future of Work forums, symposiums, and events have been co-led by a partnership of Workforce Development Boards. The partnership consists of Valley Vision, SETA, Golden Sierra, Yolo, and North Central Counties Consortium. The summit was strategically hosted at the Sacramento Region Builders Exchange. The summit began with Welcomes and Introductions from:

  • Bill Mueller, CEO, Valley Vision

  • Trish Kelly, Managing Director, Valley Vision

  • Congressman Bera

The three of them addressed the pressing challenge our region and regions all around the nation are facing with regards to developing a workforce for the future. Congressman Bera elegantly spoke about the need to take a 10 to 25 year vision around this challenge as short-sidedness will only allow us to fulfill the needs here and now.

His analogy: “If we took a 10 to 25 year vision in developing the regions freeway system we would have thought twice about where we place I-5.”

After, setting the stage on the Future of Work, Dr. M. Anne Visser, Associate Professor of Community and Regional Development at UC Davis addressed the topic of Towards a Future that Works: Managing a Changing Labor Market to Foster Resilient Regional Economies and Workforces.

She began by highlighting that an in an effort to close the opportunity gap we must first recognize the interdependence between workforce and economic development. The two key factors limiting a regional economy from forward after a recession are job polarization and job recovery. She illustrated in a variety of graphs that after the recession on average regional economies lost more jobs in the middle-skills area while seeing a growth in low-skills and high-skills areas. This trend illustrates job polarization as a the labor market is being forced to either low-skills or high-skills positions. Job polarization places challenges in syncing a ready workforce as individuals might come out of education or training programs met with no job opportunities correlated with what they were trained for.

Key take aways from her in-depth information on building resilient regional economies are:

  • The need for a shared vision of economic interdependence

  • Planning and policy should be based on trends and forecasts (Empirical Data)

  • Build responsive and stable employment base capable of adjusting to broad labor market classes

Next, Evan Schmidt, Director of Strategy and Evaluation at Valley Vision addressed various results from forums and surveys they have conducted. A key focus that came from their research as well as research from the Brookings Institute was the lack of basic digital literacy in our region. This sets a challenge and opportunity for the Sacramento as many of the jobs being created require a certain level of digital literacy. The implementation of digital literacy in the K-12 system will be vital in change the tide of Sacramento as a region as well as specific communities within Sacramento.

The second to last speaker, Jim Mayer, President and CEO at California Forward spoke about the CA Economic Summit, Workforce Resiliency, and the Gig Economy. The CA Economic Summit is on Nov. 15th and 16th and is an opportunity for state and local entities to come together and discuss a common vision of how CA will move forward as an economy. When discussing workforce resiliency he made a key point that we must align curriculum and programs with labor market. This focus of correlating the two will allow our workforce to not only be prepared for work but will be met by job opportunities. Lastly, he illustrated an insightful statistic around the Gig Economy that roughly 30 to 35% of our workforce exists in this economy.

Lastly, the summit concluded with Congressman Bera addressing opportunity zones. He illustrated that these opportunity zones and funds are a mechanism for individuals with significant capital gains to reinvest in a leveraged fashion with in under-resourced communities. The legislation has not been finalized on the mechanics of opportunity funds but he illustrated 4 ways the fund can be invested:

  1. Emerging or Existing Businesses

  2. Real Estate - Commercial/Industrial

  3. Affordable Housing

  4. Infrastructure

Thank you, Valley Vision, for convening a great summit and providing in depth information about our region’s needs and opportunities for growth.

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Cameron Law