Today, more than 400 workforce experts, layoff response coordinators, job training professionals, environmentalists, government officials, economists, labor activists and others are convening in San Jose for the annual Building Workforce Partnerships conference, sponsored by the California Labor Federation’s Workforce and Economic Development Program (WED). This unique conference gives attendees the opportunity to interact, brainstorm, learn from each and form valuable partnerships to improve the way our communities deal with job loss and workforce development.
WED Executive Director Tim Rainey:
When it comes down to it, all workforce & economic development is regional. Federal and state policy can guide investments, set standards, and even require partnership. But sustainable development necessitates strong collaboration among key regional movers and shakers inspired by shared values.
This year’s Building Workforce Partnerships event is ultimately about collaboration — only working together can labor, business, government, and communities bridge the economic needs of working families and the challenge of sustainable economic recovery and growth. We’re bringing together a diverse and national group of labor leaders, local and state policymakers, community advocates, environmentalists, educators, and job training and economic development professionals to debate the critical issues of the economy and the future of our society.
The theme of this year's Building Workforce Partnerships conference is “Get REgionAL,” and the conference will focus on exploring the economics of equity and highlighting the best regional coalition work across the nation. It models the kind of labor-business-community alliances that are the heart of high road economic development, job creation, and shared prosperity.
“Get REgionAL” features three workshop tracks — Layoff Response, Job Creation/Green Jobs and Worker Training Strategies/Policy — developed by advisory committees of practitioners, experts, and partners. Each workshop is designed within the context of regional partnership building. The conference also features a number of roundtables and plenary discussions ranging on topics from the economics of inequality to revitalizing manufacturing to the future of our economy. The agenda is packed with special guest speakers, including Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, California Labor Secretary Marty Morgenstern, and Ro Khanna from the U.S. Department of Commerce.