Workforce Development: Why California Should Become The Next Colorado

[vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column][vc_column_text]Workforce Development: Why California Should Become The Next Colorado

By Margo Turner

Colorado has it right, and us Californians could make the same commitment in short order.

As we approach a statewide job shortage figure of 1 million by 2030, labor agencies, public education institutions and private enterprises must band together to remedy this impending economic crisis. Without a highly trained, technical and employment-ready workforce, our ability to produce the goods and services of tomorrow will not keep up with other areas of the country, let alone the world. No one entity can solve this. Collaboration by all stakeholders will solve this looming problem.

And it starts in the factories and offices with high school students.

Look no further than The Centennial State to see how this is done. As one of the fastest growing economies in the country, demand for skilled labor soared, but supply remained insufficient to meet it. Businesses, with the help of state workforce development agencies, began to create apprenticeship programs that offer high school students the ability to acquire relevant, job training that counted toward not just their high school diploma, but also advanced college credits. In turn, the participants received valuable skills that translated into greater education opportunities as well as a path toward well-paying careers, all while lowering the cost of college and bolstering the Middle Class.

What’s more, a myriad of Colorado-based industries, not just manufacturing, benefitted from these types of programs. California can most certainly do the same. Achieving optimum results, though, will require that apprenticeship programs include the following elements:

Industry-Driven Objectives

The kind of apprenticeships will depend not just on the current needs of industries within The Golden State, but future ones. State agencies should solicit the help of companies that reside within our border, but also others that its economic development task forces are wanting to attract. These organizations are wonderful targets for developing partnerships that will bring in new jobs as well as fill critical openings.

Businesses clamor to collaborate with government and educational institutions in workforce development initiatives. Today’s global economic environment means funding a well-trained labor pool on their own would hamper their ability to compete around the world, let alone here at home. State agencies that reach out to companies will obtain a very willing partner.

Financial Aid Incentives For Students

The amount of debt a student typically holds from their traditional four-year degree puts many of them at a distinct disadvantage. Apprenticeship programs that integrate high school students on job sites can be the catalyst to reducing the cost of education statewide. Incorporating trade level certification programs that tie into high school graduation requirements and, better yet, advanced college credits, will mean fewer days in the classroom for students and less overhead for campuses. Many businesses will also gladly offer these rising stars tuition assistance and other financial incentives to further their education.

From the students’ perspective, apprenticeship programs like these will put them on a faster route toward good paying, rewarding careers. They will also infuse more of their income into the economy that would have otherwise gone towards paying off their incredibly burdensome school debt.

Provide Options For Those With Certifications

Be clear to students that participating in apprenticeship initiatives doesn’t mean they’re tied to the companies after completing the program. The desire to continue employment should remain up to the businesses and the individual. Undoubtedly, some attrition will occur, but for the most part, it will stem from the students’ desire to take their newly acquired skills a different direction.

The economic benefit for the state and companies will remain, though. The individuals that complete the apprentice program, but find other opportunities, will be lucrative economic engines on their own. Those students that continue with the company will be valued assets who have completely bought into the business.

Apprenticeship programs will rise to prominence as the labor shortage in California continues to grow. The question then becomes how to make them successful. Looking at Colorado’s success is a good start.

About the Author: Margo Turner is the Founder and CEO of Powerminds, a tribe of strategic and creative minds invested in transforming education, workforce and economic development that spans every discipline and every kind of partner. She can be reached at


Easy Button for Guided Pathway Deadline

[vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” css=”.vc_custom_1505255421786{padding-bottom: 25px !important;}”][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Let Powerminds take the burden off your plate and let us help you with this project.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][vc_separator type=”normal” color=”#e8e8e8″ thickness=”1px” up=”10px”][countdown year=”2017″ month=”11″ day=”1″ hour=”0″ minute=”0″ show_separator=”hide_separator” color=”#a0a0a0″][vc_separator type=”normal” color=”#e8e8e8″ thickness=”1px” up=”10px”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” css=”.vc_custom_1505259228773{margin-top: 20px !important;padding-bottom: 30px !important;background-color: #f4f4f4 !important;}”][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]A Solution and The Partner to Get You There
Powerminds is outsourced-capacity to deliver:

  • An accurate self-assessment by fall of 2017
  • An effective multi-year work plan by spring of 2018
  • Building the plan and implement the plan

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″ css=”.vc_custom_1505259186593{padding-top: 40px !important;}”][vc_single_image image=”542″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_shadow_3d” qode_css_animation=””][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”center” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” css=”.vc_custom_1505259106325{padding-top: 45px !important;}”][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Powerminds has unique expertise in:

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”1793″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center” qode_css_animation=””][vc_column_text]Assessing educational institutions and organizations of all kinds[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”1792″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center” qode_css_animation=””][vc_column_text]Facilitating the cross-functional teams[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”1790″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center” qode_css_animation=””][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1505259035926{padding-top: 20px !important;}”]

Building work plans that work

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”1793″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center” qode_css_animation=””][vc_column_text]Creating career pathways and all that means to community colleges and our students[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Introducing ProSearch

[vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” css=”.vc_custom_1505255421786{padding-bottom: 25px !important;}”][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Introducing: ProSearch

We all face a common Wicked Challenge: how do we prepare for — and shape– the future without relying on yesterday’s information alone?

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” css=”.vc_custom_1505255182463{margin-top: 60px !important;}”][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]


Research is retrospective and focused on what has already happened.
ProSearch looks ahead: it projects and it produces plans for action through a progressive process.

ProSearch tracks and shares critical trends for the next three and five years and even ten years.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”1697″ img_size=”full” style=”vc_box_shadow_3d” qode_css_animation=””][/vc_column][vc_column][vc_empty_space height=”40px”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”1729″ img_size=”full” style=”vc_box_shadow_3d” qode_css_animation=””][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]These use the most accurate sources and widest range of future-focused quantitative and qualitative sources.

The ProSearch™ Process is highly interactive using a series of provocative and even visionary presentations and thought exercises to trace the trajectory of these trends. The impacts and insights are immediately applicable and customized to sectors, occupational clusters, programs, colleges and Districts.

ProSearch™ builds a visual eco-system connecting these trends and what they mean to educators, stakeholders and students.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

The Three Most Important Things Companies Want From Workforce Development Agencies

The Three Most Important Things Companies Want From Workforce Development Agencies
By Margo Turner

Government workforce development agencies find themselves with greater opportunities to positively impact an area’s economy than ever before.

While that may appear counter intuitive when we see unemployment rates at record lows, these types of environments beg for initiatives that can deliver a qualified labor pool that companies need now and tomorrow.

When the job market is tight, companies become constrained in finding enough experienced talent to grow. Moreover, today’s global market makes it difficult for businesses to fund workforce development on its own adequately.

This means government-sponsored initiatives must play an even bigger role.

More specifically, we see increased demand by businesses for apprenticeship-style and on the job training programs that provide individuals with the skills they will need for a wide array of occupations.

Advanced manufacturing, cybersecurity and biotechnology come immediately to mind, but the examples are seemingly endless.

Workforce development agencies can make the difference in fostering economic growth by focusing on the these three most important things companies want.

Move At The Speed Of Business

Government programs, such as ones that come under the purview of community colleges, can get hampered by internal bureaucracy. The global economy moves at an ever more rapid pace. Streamlining the creation and implementation of apprenticeship and other workforce development programs will ensure companies can keep up with their rivals around the world.

As important, it will be a boost for agency heads who must report measurable outcomes to justify the use of their funds..

Partner With Employers

Companies will gladly assist creating workforce development initiatives that will bring in qualified candidates.

Their inability to do so on their own stems not from a lack of desire, but instead an inability to fund on their own the costs of staying competitive. Offering businesses a way to increase their prospective labor pool without exponentially increasing costs will get them involved in many ways, including actively volunteering to develop the curriculum and vetting candidates.

Getting input from companies early and make them part of the team that develops the solutions.

Focus On More Than The Classroom

By focusing on developing one working apprentice for every four college students, agencies would add equal five million new trades people to the workforce, a tenfold increase from today’s number and a solid improvement to working towards filling the vast number of vacancies in the current job market.

While I don’t dispute the value of a four-year degree, many industries need many more trades people with advanced, state-of-the-art certifications and associates degree in career technical fields.

California, like the rest of the country, lacks enough qualified candidates to fill these roles. Workforce development programs help meet this need will be incredibly valuable to growing economies.

These government-sponsored initiatives work best when they become tribal. By that, I mean involving a broad range of education, government and business stakeholders coming together to assess the challenge, deploy agile teams and co-create solutions. When developed and implemented in a collaborative atmosphere, these programs will thrive from coming together to measured success.

The point: act fast, partner first, and think outside the classroom box.

About the Author: Margo Turner is the Founder and CEO of Powerminds, a tribe of strategic and creative minds invested in transforming education, workforce and economic development that spans every discipline and every kind of partner. She can be reached at

Experts Predict When Artificial Intelligence Will Exceed Human Performance

Artificial intelligence is changing the world and doing it at breakneck speed. The promise is that intelligent machines will be able to do every task better and more cheaply than humans. Rightly or wrongly, one industry after another is falling under its spell, even though few have benefited significantly so far.

[button size=’medium’ style=” text=’READ MORE’ icon=” icon_color=” link=’’ target=’_blank’ color=’#fff’ hover_color=’#fff’ border_color=’#fff’ hover_border_color=’#fff’ background_color=” hover_background_color=’#fff’ font_style=” font_weight=” text_align=” margin=”]

Drones Have Arrived

“Six California Community Colleges in Orange County are working together to develop curriculum that address what is called Autonomous Systems Engineering—technology tied to manufacturing or flying in the sky.”

There is a new demand and California is ready to take on the task! As part of California’s Strong Workforce Program, Autonomous Systems Engineering is a new program that will follow two pathways. Read more about it here.

Getting to Five Million Apprentices: Developing One Working Apprentice for Every 4 College Students

The National Skills Coalition has just released a set of policy recommendations designed to be a guide for the Trump Administration’s apprenticeship efforts. These are federal options for expanding work-based learning.

We at Powerminds, are excited by this. Developing one working apprentice for every 4 college students to equal five million is a very ambitious and aggressive goal compared to our current 500,000 existing apprentices.

Download a PDF of the policy recommendations here.

Let’s attain this goal together! Follow Powerminds, Inc. on LinkedIn.

Powerminds at CCCAOE 2017 Spring Conference

This year, the focus at CCCAOE Spring Conference program in Sacramento was CTE: Your Key to Equity & Access II. Of course we were present!

Sandra Sisco, along with Powerminds’ Josh Friedman, Dr. Renah Wolzinger and Margo Turner, pictured above from left to right, is the team that presented on Equity in Transfer for Career and Technical Education Students in the California Community College System.

The problem: Community College students who take CTE courses lack adequate transfer pathways to the CSU system. A majority (60 %) of CTE students are from underrepresented populations, representing less than 30% of all CTE transfers. The purpose of this quantitative study is to examine the Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) program in CTE areas, and identify the ways a CTE pathway contributes to transfer readiness and time to transfer readiness. Find our full presentation below.