California Program Looks for Solutions to Skills Gap
Posted on 11/13/2017
A statewide program known as “SlingShot” aims to improve career opportunities and fill needed jobs The program is part of an employment initiative through the Workforce Development Board (CWDB). It aims to solve regional employment challenges in California through partnerships among government, employers, schools and other groups.
The origins of the SlingShot program date back about five years, said Tim Rainey, CWDB's executive director. "We started out trying to solve a pretty big problem in the workforce system," he said.
There were a lot of programs around California administered by many different agencies—with little coordination among them, Rainey said. State government officials wanted to align the programs behind a common vision and common goals. In each of 12 regions in California, they challenged community colleges and workforce boards to reach out to industry and come up with a problem that needed to be solved. The state offered each region $1 million for their projects if they met certain requirements.
The program tries to connect workers to open jobs—or to jobs that are projected to be open in the future. "This is a connection of supply and demand," Rainey said. Other goals are to create more industry-valued credentials and more apprenticeships, he added.
The state has launched an evaluation of the SlingShot program, but the results aren't available yet.