April 7, 2014
Senator Carol Liu
Chair, Senate Education Committee
District 25, California State Senate
State Capitol, Room 5097
Sacramento, CA 95814
Re: Senate Bill 1022 (Huff) – SUPPORT
Dear Senator Liu:
On behalf of the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC), an organization dedicated to promoting job growth, economic expansion, and boosting the overall global competitiveness of Los Angeles County, we are writing to express our support of Senate Bill (SB) 1022 (Huff), which requires that the California State University System publicize labor market outcome information on their graduates.
At the LAEDC, we are strong believers that data is critical to sound public policy outcomes, and that the best results can be achieved by having the information necessary to make the right decisions. We employ this practice for our economic development efforts as well as encourage our workforce development system throughout Los Angeles County to do the same by providing them with analytics (both qualitative and quantitative) on labor market trends and occupational growth analyses so they can better develop and tailor degree, certificate and training programs accordingly. Students pursuing higher education should be afforded access to similar data and analytics before they make what will become one of the largest investments in their lifetime—a degree from a higher education institution. Unfortunately, however, this information is not easy to find for students or their families. SB 1022 aims to change that.
Frequently, we hear about skills gap issues and that there are not enough workers with the right skill sets to meet the needs of our 21st Century economy. A component of this skills gap issue has to do with the programs our students are choosing to pursue and the reasons they are choosing to do so. Many students enter college with an undeclared major or even change their major multiple times before graduating and are not always aware of the different types of careers, the pathway to those careers, and programs that are available. We see SB 1022 as a critical component to providing students with a tool to assist their decision making on potential career options.
In the future, we would like to see this analytically-based tool expand to the entire higher education system—including the University of California system, as well as private universities and colleges. Even more, this tool should provide access to growing occupations and industry trends—as already made available on the Employment Development Department website—so students are afforded yet another opportunity to become more informed about career opportunities and pathways that exist.
We urge you and your colleague’s support for SB 1022 and encourage you to think of this as a critical step in the right direction. We look forward to working with you and members of the Legislature and Governor’s Office to make this bill a reality and to continue providing our students with the tools they need for success.
Chief Operating Officer, Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation