California unveils new council to bolster job creation


California Construction News staff writer

California has created the California Jobs First Council and a comprehensive operational plan with a focus on expediting the state’s economic and workforce development initiatives to facilitate swifter job creation.

Governor Gavin Newsom remarked, “California has spearheaded the creation of numerous opportunities, jobs, and businesses, surpassing all other states. However, our collective progress requires careful consideration. Through this novel council and strategic investments, we are aligning our economic resources to accelerate job growth for Californians across every community.”

The council, co-chaired by Dee Dee Myers, senior advisor to Governor Newsom and Director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, and Stewart Knox, Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development, will oversee the formulation of a comprehensive statewide industrial strategy. This strategy encompasses a statewide economic overview, identification of priority sectors, a statewide projects portfolio, a business expansion, attraction, and retention strategy, and a workforce development strategy.

The primary objective of the plan is to synchronize and streamline California’s K-12, university, and workforce systems to enhance access to career education and job opportunities. It aims to underscore the role of workforce development as a crucial tool for the State and the regional Jobs First Collaboratives, particularly in assisting Californians in disinvested communities to meet the specific skillset needs of priority industry sectors in the State and its regions.

The state has allocated $14 million to each of the 13 Jobs First Collaboratives, amounting to a total of $182 million. This funding is designated for sector-specific pre-development activities, empowering regions to advance projects from the exploratory and last-mile stages to ready-to-go initiatives. These projects will have the capability to access funding from local, state, and federal sources, as well as private and philanthropic investments.


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