CWA Rallies Stakeholders around Smart Workforce Initiative
Meeting of the Minds Conference leverages "collective impact" principles to convene regional stakeholders
14 Aug, 2012, 11:00 ET
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Aug. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- As a follow-up to the May 2012 California Economic Summit (Summit), the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy's (CCSCE) released its latest report that finds "there is no single California economy but, rather one that is best understood as a collection of industries and regions." CCSCE explains that industry structure is why California performed poorly in the recession, but also why the state has a strong economic base as the foundation for competitiveness and future prosperity for residents.
The CCSCE's analysis supports its regional forum findings that there are many strategies that are best designed and implemented at the regional level. The California Workforce Association is leveraging its upcoming Meeting of the Minds workforce policy and leadership conference, called Collective Impact, to build momentum on several critical initiatives pertaining to California's economy, particularly the Smart Workforce Initiative (SMI) from the Summit.
"The Smart Workforce Initiative prioritizes and aligns existing workforce training and career education resources to focus on workforce issues facing California's major regional industry sectors," said CWA Executive Director, Barbara Halsey. "Creating and sustaining successful regional partnerships requires advanced skill sets which is why we are using the conference as a forum for training, tools and collaboration, to enhance our 'collective impact' through regional strategies."
The premise of collective impact stems from a Stanford Social Innovation Review article which reinforces that today's social problems exist in a complex and interdependent world that requires collective action. The authors state that there is little or no evidence to support the notion that isolated initiatives provide the best results. CWA Board Chair, Sandy Harmsen, is one of the 48 California workforce investment board executive directors that understands the critical value of collective impact principles. Harmsen said, "Workforce Investment Boards work on an ongoing basis to build relationships with education, economic development, workforce professionals, and business and industry, in order to leverage funding and maximize strategies to build a talented workforce in California."
The Foundation Strategy Group (FSG), a nonprofit research and consulting firm, created the Collective Impact framework, and FSG Managing Editor, Jeff Kutash, delivers the opening keynote. Kutash said, "Shifting from isolated to collective impact is not merely a matter of increasing collaboration or creating public-private partnerships; it requires a systemic approach in which multiple cross-sector actors align their vision and strategy, develop shared objectives and accountability, and put in place a supporting infrastructure to sustain the effort and ensure progress is made."
Keynoter Libby Gill, executive coach, brand strategist and author concurs. "For organizations to implement any type of change principles, leaders have to create a culture of risk taking and high innovation." Gill has garnered acclaim for her branding and public relations work with the launch of the Dr. Phil Show, and will focus her keynote on the principles outlined in her award-winning book, You Unstuck: The New Rules of Risk-taking in Work & Life.
The Conference provides a venue for regional action teams in workforce, economic development, education, business and industry to work together to identify or refine workforce development initiatives that support California's major regional industry sectors. Register at www.calworkforce.org/MMM.
The CWA is a nonprofit membership organization that develops public policy strategies and builds local capacity to address critical workforce issues across California. CWA represents Workforce Investment Boards who are responsible for developing local-based workforce strategies and solutions through a network of One-Stop Career Centers and other workforce partners. CWA's membership composition is reflective of local partnerships and collaborations with educational institutions, economic development professionals, chambers and business associations, and local nonprofits, government and community-based organizations that have a vested interest in workforce excellence.
SOURCE California Workforce Association
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