LA’s Community Colleges Form Center to Inform Career Education Programs

Rapidly Changing Skills Requirements Prompt Industry-College Initiative.

LAEDC would like to thank Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley and Vice Chancellor Van Ton-Quinlivan of the California Community College System for their support and vision in implementing the Strong Workforce Program.

Media Coverage:

LA Daily News and affiliate newspapers

LA Business Journal

KNX radio segment

To connect with LAEDC to participate in this work, contact Carolyn Hull by clicking HERE

LOS ANGELES, CA (July 20, 2017) In response to the growing concern about the fast transitioning economy and job markets, which are becoming increasingly more technical and specialized, LA County’s 19 Community Colleges have agreed to launch and co-invest in the region’s first Center for a Competitive Workforce, which will be housed at the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC).  The Center will deliver on the vision of the statewide Strong Workforce Program with new and better coordination by combining research on the supply of and demand for talent, which may incite changes across the state in how Strong Workforce is implemented.

The Center, which will be launched in partnership with the LAEDC, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, Southern California Leadership Council, and the Center of Excellence for Labor Market Research at Mt San Antonio College will look to create industry-driven education and workforce programs and curricula across our region’s talent development systems with the goal to train, educate and upskill LA County’s residents for the knowledge-intensive industries that will come to dominate our economic future.  This work will also address the talent gaps some employers face, and help balance the supply of skilled graduates with the projected hiring by local employers, a balance which helps both job-seekers and local firms.

“Regional workforce training is essential to continued economic growth in LA County.  This partnership among business, education, and government agencies is a much needed step to assuring that local jobs are filled by local workers,” said Bill Scroggins, Ph.D., President and CEO of Mt San Antonio College.

Almost immediately, the Center will conduct analysis of labor supply and demand in specific occupations and skillsets , assess the impact of technology on LA County’s key industries and their workforce, perform firm-level investigation into growth occupations, and directly engage industry firms to:

  • Inform and align workforce development priorities and career technical education (CTE) programs with the regionally concentrated growth sectors in LA County, such as advanced transportation, aerospace, bioscience, entertainment/digital media, health services, ICT, and trade and logistics;
  • Strengthen employer engagement with community colleges, as well as LA County’s other allied talent development systems, i.e., workforce boards, adult schools, social enterprise nonprofits, four-year colleges; and
  • Increase internship, apprenticeship and full-time employment opportunities for students, job seekers, hard-to-place individuals and incumbent workers looking to transition into high-value, high-wage jobs within growth industries.

Focused initially on the county’s community college system, the Center will quickly integrate all of the region’s talent development systems, from social entrepreneurship nonprofits (e.g. Goodwill, Chrysalis), to adult schools, to the workforce boards, all the way through our county’s five CSUs and other four year colleges.  The ultimate aspiration is to build a regional, industry-responsive and demand-driven talent development system here in L.A. County that is FAST:

  • Future forward, so that we’re developing talent for the economy of the tomorrow, not of yesterday;
  • Adaptive, so that we’re responding to the ever-changing labor needs of industries in real-time;
  • Scalable, so that we’re activating sensible “systems change” across the region’s different talent development systems;
  • Total and complete, so there is coordination across all of the county’s talent development systems and institutions.

Together, the Center’s partners believe this approach will position the region for greater success as the economy transitions at an accelerated pace away from one that is characterized by labor being the primary factor of production to one where capital, intellectual property and knowledge are the primary factors, presenting all of us – industry, government, labor, education and philanthropy – with the duty to ensure that more of our county’s residents have an opportunity for economic success in this new economic context.

“As businesses like Kaiser Permanente continue to adopt new technologies and push the boundaries of innovation, skills needs are changing faster than ever,” said Jodie Lesh, SVP of Delivery System Design for Kaiser Permanente and LAEDC Chair.  These changes are pervasive across the entire economy, and it is exciting to see that we are aligning our talent development efforts to address the needs of business and to enhance economic opportunity for our residents.”

To learn more about the rapidly changing economy and its implications for workforce development, visit .

Media contact: Lawren Markle, LAEDC, 213-236-4847, [email protected]


Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) is advancing opportunity and prosperity for all.  Through collaborative economic development leadership, LAEDC promotes a globally competitive, prosperous and growing L.A. County economy to improve the health and wellbeing of its residents and communities and enable those residents to meet their basic human need for a job.  Offering objective economic research and analysis, strategic assistance to government and business, and targeted public policy, LAEDC is guided and supported by the expertise and counsel of its business, government and education members and partners. LAEDC was established in 1981 as a private, non-profit, public benefit corporation.

About Center of Excellence for Labor Market Research

The LA/OC Center of Excellence for Labor Market Research, hosted at Mt San Antonio College, supports the region’s 29 colleges with research and analysis under the California Community College Chancellor’s Office, including 10 community colleges in Orange County and 19 community colleges in L.A. County: Cerritos College, Citrus College, East Los Angeles College, El Camino College, El Camino College Compton Educational Center, Glendale Community College, L.A. City College, L.A. Harbor College, L.A. Mission College, L.A. Pierce College, L.A. Southwest College, L.A. Trade-Technical College, L.A. Valley College, Long Beach City College, Mt. San Antonio College, Pasadena Community College, Rio Hondo College, Santa Monica College, West L.A. College.

About LA Area Chamber of Commerce

The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce represents the interests of business in L.A. County. Founded in 1888, the Chamber promotes a prosperous economy and quality of life in the Los Angeles region. For more information, visit

About Southern California Leadership Council

Established as a non-partisan, nonprofit public policy partnership of business and community leaders, including California’s former governors, SCLC exerts strong leadership on issues of regional significance and provides a common voice on policies critical to economic vitality, job growth and quality of life in Southern California.


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