Education, Diversity, and Growth in the Economy

Who We Are

The California EDGE Coalition is a non-partisan consortium of business, labor, social justice, education and workforce organizations united in the vision of a broadly shared prosperity.

What We Do

The California EDGE Coalition advances state policy and investments that create and sustain pathways into the middle class for all Californians, including individuals facing barriers to economic and social mobility.

The Challenge Facing California

California can only compete successfully in an increasingly global economy based on the skills of its people. A skills gap in new and emerging technologies, the growing divide between high-and-low-skilled work, stagnating incomes, and growing income inequality put California’s prosperity and its ability to compete globally at risk. Estimates of the looming skills gap vary, but it appears that by 2025 California will face a shortfall of roughly a million workers with bachelor’s degrees and over a million more who will need other high-quality post-secondary career or education training.

Our Policy Agenda

California must ensure that our state’s education and training institutions work together effectively to provide skill development for all Californians but particularly for individuals from the underserved communities that are now the majority of our workforce and will drive California’s future.
The California EDGE Coalition Policy Agenda highlights common-sense strategies to advance state policy and investments in workforce education and training to promote our vision – a broadly shared prosperity.

Support Career Education

California has historically undervalued career education and has not viewed it as integral to the core mission of postsecondary education, resulting in unpredictable and insufficient funding for these programs.

Link Career Education and Workforce Training Programs to create pathways to middle-class jobs

The complexity of California’s education and training system makes it difficult to navigate and complete a sequence of courses to achieve a certificate, credential or degree that will lead to a career with a future.

Eliminate barriers and expand supports for learner access, progress, and success, especially for traditionally underserved populations

Despite our state’s historic commitment to college for all, Californians face significant financial, educational, and navigational barriers to completing the education and training they need to succeed in today’s labor market.

Provide low-skilled working Californians access to skill upgrade training and other educational opportunities

Rapid labor market changes will require individuals to continue their education and skills training to either enter or stay in well-paid jobs and to meet the demands of our state’s business and industry. This is particularly true for California’s almost five million low-wage workers, many of whom lack the skills employers increasingly require.

Bring disconnected adults and youth back into education or training and into the labor market

In addition to the Californians who are working but have limited prospects, there are a great many who are disconnected from both school and work. If our state is to close its looming skills gap, it will be important to bring disconnected youth and adults into employment and training and the labor market.

Invest in regional workforce strategies to build prosperous communities and competitive industries

To be effective, workforce education and training institutions must work collaboratively and in concert with business and labor to be responsive to different labor market needs in each region of the state.

Develop a shared vision, measurable goals, and longitudinal data to monitor the progress of California’s education and training systems

California does not have a shared vision of what we want our postsecondary education and training systems to achieve or a way of understanding progress and outcomes across institutions and over time.

A Policy Agenda for Shared Prosperity

The California EDGE Coalition’s new policy agenda proposes a series of recommendations that we believe will help California achieve the twin goals of economic dynamism and widespread economic opportunity.

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