OUR VISION

a broadly shared prosperity

Our Story

In 2006, stakeholders from business, labor, community colleges, workforce boards and social justice organizations came together to forge a vision of California’s future based on a skilled workforce and a broadly-shared prosperity. A gubernatorial election was underway and there were strong, organized advocates for K-12 education and the four-year colleges, but little attention to career technical education that led to jobs that provide millions of workers a pathway into the middle class. The product of these meetings was a reform agenda – Keeping California Competitive, Creating Opportunity – that was ultimately endorsed by over a hundred business and organizations. We argued that over the coming decades, California stands at a historic crossroad. The highly-credentialed baby boom generation will be retiring and, unless we are proactive, the replacement workers will have lower levels of educational attainment and be unprepared for the jobs of the future. We called on the Governor and Legislature to lead a strategic effort to forge California’s impressive education and training infrastructure into an integrated system of skill development that addresses the needs of all California workers and employers. This effort resulted in the formation of the California EDGE Coalition.  

Board of Directors

Alma Salazar

VICE PRESIDENT, CENTER FOR EDUCATION EXCELLENCE AND TALENT DEVELOPMENT Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce

Bob Lanter

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR California Workforce Association

Catherine Martin

VICE PRESIDENT, WORKFORCE POLICY California Hospital Association

Chione Lucina Muñoz Flegal

MANAGING DIRECTOR
PolicyLink

Erika Rincón Whitcomb

SENIOR ASSOCIATE PolicyLink

Jeremy Smith

DEPUTY LEGISLATIVE DIRECTOR State Building and Construction Trades Council

John Brauer

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, WORKFORCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM California Labor Federation

Linda Collins

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Career Ladders Project

Nicole Rice

POLICY DIRECTOR OF GOVERNMENT RELATIONS California Manufacturers & Technology Association

Our Work

In the more than a decade since its formation, EDGE has focused on improving California’s system of workforce education and training and removing the serious barriers that prevent so many Californians from getting the skills they need to succeed in the labor market. California has made progress since we first came together. There is now widespread recognition that despite the state’s historic commitment to higher education, too few students achieve degrees, certificates, or transfer and many low-skilled working adults have limited access to skill-development opportunities. Career education that had once received limited recognition and insufficient financial support is increasingly being recognized as an important component of postsecondary education.

Our Team

Barbara Baran

CO-DIRECTOR California EDGE Coalition bbaran@californiaedge.org

Rona Sherriff

CO-DIRECTOR California EDGE Coalition rsherriff@californiaedge.org

Brianna Bruns

DIRECTOR OF POLICY AND ADVOCACY California EDGE Coalition bbruns@californiaedge.org

Our Committment

However, the pace of institutional transformation is slow while the need for skill development is urgent in the face of dramatic demographic shifts and the rapidly changing nature of work.  Now in our second decade, the EDGE Coalition is committed to eliminating the barriers to access to education and training and supporting radically new ways of providing education and skills training to large segments of our population, particularly for those Californians and their communities who have been traditionally underserved. Otherwise, employers will struggle to find the kinds of workers they need, the achievement gap will not be closed, and the prosperity of our state and its residents will be threatened.

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