May 10-12, 2017
Hyatt Regency Orange County
Garden Grove, CA

Sponsored by the California Workforce Association

WORKCON 2017 Call for Proposals has ended 02/27/17, 
Thank you for your 2017 proposal submissions.

CLICK HERE FOR [Call For Proposals PDF]

WORKCON is a unique gathering of workforce, education, and other key  partners helping provide a trained, skilled workforce to our diverse regional economies. Previously called CWA’s Annual Spring Conference, the gathering brings together workforce and economic development professionals, career technical educators, and other staff from state agencies and community based organizations who support full participation of the labor force.

The focus of the Conference is on the collaborations and partnerships at the Epicenter of these important collective efforts. These partnerships, providing pathways to prosperity for both workers and communities, are indeed where work, skills, innovations and competitiveness collide. It acknowledges that we share a common purpose, though our roles and expertise vary.

We also want to call out the critical role of innovation and collaboration in maintaining and demonstrating our worth as publicly funded systems addressing critical workforce needs.

These are challenging times and only by working together will we continue to add significant value to both individuals and businesses. Proposers should address current challenges and opportunities as well as successful models and best practices. You don’t need to have all the answers to submit. Thought provoking and discussion sessions are also welcomed.


Regional Planning and Collaboration
After the first year of regional planning, many areas have a better idea for how to build a regional vision and how to create regional leadership that sustains it. Share your experiences with the regional planning process over the past year.
How does the planning and work of local Workforce Development Boards “roll up” into a region vision?  What’s the value of convening a regional conversation, and what does that look like in large regions? We are interested in proposals that address this work, including proposers who are willing to lead thoughtful discussions around these topics.
Idea~! Ask your colleagues in other areas what their experiences were and contrast and compare with your own.
There are a multitude of regional efforts in play, all requiring good process skills related to this work. So, we are also interested in frameworks and approaches that use collective impact, human centered design, the Technology of Participation and other methods and techniques that aid in this process.
Many areas in Region 6 responded to the Design Challenge and training provided by USDOL. Let’s hear from you…what you learned when implementing Human Centered Design and how it is affecting other aspects of your operation as well. If you are a HCD expert, we are also interested training sessions you could provide. Launch a HCD at WORKCON!
Industry Sector Partnerships: Becoming More Demand Driven
The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) imagines industry champions engaged in an ongoing dialogue that produces new insights and opportunities for the workforce system. What are different approaches to engage employers in identifying and validating “industry-valued” credentials that provide impediments to their growth?  How do we use what we learn to focus and align our work on the supply side?
Drawing on successful Industry Sector Partnerships, we are seeking sessions that feature a mix of industry champions, educators and other workforce partners that are having productive conversations with one another. Slingshot grantees are encouraged to submit and share their learnings!
Innovations in Career Center Operations: Integration Plus!
With a skills attainment agenda, One Stops have undergone some profound shifts. How can programs and services connect to the sectors driving regional employment and to the regional plan? How do we align our resources to better address skill gaps?  How can we deal with the challenge of what to do with customers who don’t need or don’t want training?
Additionally, how could “we” on the supply-side do a better job of speaking with one voice to business and organize job development efforts differently? And, given the need to integrate, how are you approaching cross training One Stop staff? What role is the Department of Rehabilitation playing and how is their expertise being leveraged for the benefit of all?
Use a staff meeting with your partners to review issues you are dealing with and where you are making headway. You probably have more ideas worth sharing than you realize.
The Role of Data in Driving Innovation and Collaboration
It isn’t your imagination. New economic forces are shaping our communities, for better and for worse. Assumptions about growth rates, unemployment, income mobility, and labor market information are moved by new forces and megashifts we are just beginning to understand, such as the emergence of artificial intelligence in everyday life (drone delivery), the gig economy, and other economic disruptions caused by technology and/or politics.  We are interested in how you are adjusting to this new reality, and how are you using economic and labor market information in both your region and local area to capture some of these new dynamics of our economies.
Share what you are doing to get more strategic in your planning, and what you are doing to take this analysis out into the community as well.
New and Proven Approaches in Serving Targeted Populations
As with any industry, at the end of the day, we still need to move “product” out the door. For us, that means helping connect people to training and jobs that makes a real difference in their lives.
Tell us what you are doing where “the rubber meets the road” to better serve veterans, ex-offenders, individuals with disabilities, long term unemployed, and other individuals needing extra help in connecting to career pathways, basic skills, certifications and credentials, apprenticeships, and jobs that lead to self sufficiency and enable income mobility.
Youth Program Challenges and Successes
WIOA shifted the focus of youth programs to older, out-of-school youth as well as youth who have significant and multiple barriers to employment. We are interested in having you share both your challenges and successes during the past year. If you have specialized expertise in serving different youth populations, we would welcome your proposal as well.
Linking Workforce and Economic Development with Career Pathways
In 2013, the California Legislature created the California Career Pathways Trust (CCPT). These career pathway programs prepare students for high-skill, high-wage jobs in emerging and growing industry sectors. In exchange for receiving a CCPT grant, recipients were required to set aside funding within their own budgets and obtain funding commitments from education and business partners.
Share your experiences, learnings, insights and thoughts about how we can do a better job of linking our varied customers with opportunities in our demand sectors, and link education efforts with workforce and economic development


Due Date: COB Monday, February 27, 2017
Proposers are encouraged to submit prior to that date.
Applicants will be notified by March 20, 2017 as to the outcome and acceptance.


PreConference Sessions: 9:30 – 11:30 am, Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Conference Begins: 12:45 pm, Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Conference Ends: Noon, Friday, May 12, 2017


All workshop presenters must register for the Conference!
We ask your understanding and cooperation in abiding by the following registration policy regarding presenters.
This applies to presenters who come only to present and then leave the Conference. This will ensure you a name badge at Conference Registration.
Presenter is given access to other Conference sessions and functions on the day of your presentation.
Presenter has access to the entire range of Conference experiences, including plenary sessions, workshops, receptions, continental breakfasts, the luncheon, and refreshment breaks (even the fun run!).
Online Registration Open Soon. (02/09/2017)


Hyatt Regency Orange County
11999 Harbor Blvd
Garden Grove, CA 92840
Presenters are responsible for their own hotel reservations. Click Here To Reserve Your Room
Or call Hyatt Regency Reservations at 800-916-4339 (toll free)
Special CWA rate is $169/single or double. Cutoff date for room block is Monday, April 17th. Mention CWA to reserve a room at the discounted rate.
***We reserve a limited block of rooms at a reduced conference rate. If the block is full, you will be responsible for securing other housing at rates that may be substantially higher.


We anticipate that 500+ individuals will attend the Conference. We are scheduling 5 rounds of workshops with 8 concurrent sessions taking place during each round. The average workshop will enjoy 40 – 50 attendees.


Conference participants are engaged both in policy and program implementation related to education, training, employment and business services at the local, state and national level.
Attendees work primarily for government, non-profit community based organizations and educational institutions. They work in America’s Job Centers, for Workforce Development Boards, and in workforce and economic development departments, community colleges, rehabilitation and county social service agencies and county offices of education, private schools, K-12, apprenticeship programs and business.


  • Workshops should involve active learning with discussion & interaction.
  • Presentations should connect their success to factors that reveal the underlying promising practice. This makes it relevant to other areas, and helps move the discussion beyond “show and tell” sessions.
  • No more than 4 individuals on a panel please.
  • CWA may edit workshop titles and descriptions or combine similar proposals into one session. Due to space limitations, not all proposals are accepted.
  • Although we welcome and value the commercially available products and services available within our industry, sales presentations are not appropriate for workshops and will not be considered. Sponsorships and exhibit space is available if you are interested in connecting with our attendees in a manner that promotes sales.


Rooms will be equipped with LCD projectors and screens to project PowerPoint presentations and any other video source material (DVD’s, video clips, etc.).
Multiple presenters should coordinate their presentations so that they are all on one laptop. We do not supply LAPTOPS. Presenters must bring their own laptop, if needed.
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