A Globally Competitive Workforce

Business leaders are telling Sacramento to focus first on fixing our education system, and give them the freedom to take care of the rest.

California’s Creative Class
Too often when the government works with businesses to create jobs, what it has really done is subsidize a politically connected company with public dollars. In the Bay Area, businesses naturally go where the talent is located. Our region’s dominant creative class fuels the state’s economic growth  Yet, if we don’t improve our schools, we should worry about our ability to keep talent in the Bay Area.

The state government should ensure that Californians who don’t have a job have a quick, affordable means to be trained to work the jobs that businesses demand. While we are technically in economic recovery, the jobs that are returning are not the same jobs that left. For too long community colleges have been ignored by Sacramento despite their central role in job training. If we don’t invest in our community colleges, our region will continue to prosper, but we will see that prosperity being enjoyed by outsiders recruited to the Bay Area, and not by Bay Area natives.

Refocus Community Colleges
Investing in the Foothill-De Anza and San Mateo County community colleges is the single most important thing the state government can do to prepare those unemployed in the Bay Area to find jobs. At this moment community colleges are forced to offer remediation to 4 out of 5 high school graduates that attend, leaving few resources for effective job training. The state must make sure high schools are doing their job, so that community colleges can do theirs.

1 in 3 unemployed have been unemployed over a year. -US Labor Dept.
Chris Chiang proposes a bill to create specialized community college programs for the long term unemployed, especially for the 600,000 California 99ers who have exhausted all unemployment benefits (99ers refers to workers past the 99-week unemployment aid limit).

“Work is about more than making a living, as vital as that is. It’s fundamental to human dignity, to our sense of self-worth as useful, independent, free people.” -President Bill Clinton

Adult students need different services than a teenage student. The long term unemployed need different services than typical adult students. Our community colleges can do better at both. Communities in other states have done just this, we need to do the same, and now.

A Bay Area Senator Must Make Sacramento Global

Sacramento can be bolder in its recruitment of overseas businesses. California should set up small offices in growth markets like China and India that help these countries’ startups navigate the state and Federal paperwork to move to California. In return, respective nations would have to set up offices in California to help our startups navigate the regulations to enter their nations’ markets. This is best done by the government since foreign entrepreneurs, who would dream to move to California, are often overwhelmed by government rules.  A Bay Area senator must be one who embraces globalization. The future of the Silicon Valley is global, both ways.

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