Partnerships that Unlock Social Mobility was a co-funded venture by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO) and the California Workforce Development Board (CWDB). The purpose of this effort is to convene regional meetings between the major partners and stakeholders in California’s workforce development and education systems hosted and facilitated by the California Workforce Association (CWA) to see how systems can be aligned to improve service coordination and delivery with the goal of offering improved access to services and programs that lead job seekers to self-sufficiency.

The first iteration of this effort was to explore meaningful regional partnerships between Workforce Development Board Regional Planning Units and Community College Consortia. It was quickly discovered that to forge truly meaningful regional partnerships, more of the education system such as Adult Education would need to be engaged. Ultimately, these sessions convened partners across the education system, local workforce boards, as well as non-profits and CBOs with a stake in connecting local targeted services to regional initiatives.

In the second iteration, lovingly referred to as Partnerships 2.0, the regional convenings were expanded in order to incorporate new partners: namely the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation as well as county probation offices throughout the state. In this round – with the passage of the Prison to Employment Initiative which sets General Fund money in the State budget for workforce boards and stakeholders to serve the Reentry population – these systems came together to explore how they can combine efforts to connect this targeted population to quality workforce programs which promote competitive employment and independence.

Throughout both series of regional convenings CWA, CWDB, and CCCCO took inventory of best practices and innovative initiatives and have compiled them into this publication. It is a snapshot of all the amazing regional work happening in California’s workforce development system as a whole. The concept behind this publication is to keep relevant updates regarding regional initiatives, to maintain the state-level regional information, and to continue to add effective practices contained herein for future volumes which will be made available online.

Enjoy the fruits of all the regional initiatives, partnerships, and innovations currently occurring throughout California!

The Genius of Regions – Partnerships That Unlock Social Mobility