January Quarterly Meeting - A Bias for Action

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The third meeting of the East Bay ICT Partnership saw membership grow to 18 employer partners and 28 community partners.  This quarterly convening represented a pivot from defining a set of employer focused needs to focusing on collaborative action.  With the recent deployment of two action teams and the launch of the new name and digital platform, the partners received status updates on efforts since September and then were given the opportunity to provide feedback, sign up for action teams and offer needed resources and connections.

In previous conversations, the business champions established the need to define a new set of skills for the ICT workplace (The What), shift to an experiential learning model (The How), and build awareness to attract more people to ICT careers (The Who).

Deploying Cross Sector Action Teams

There are two primary strategies driving the East Bay ICT Partnership:  1) Creating a comprehensive ICT focused industry table to identify high-impact regional mandates for workforce development and 2) Forming a comprehensive community table to develop and implement (in collaboration with industry) regional, connected solutions.  In November, the EBICT business leaders prioritized two initiatives and launched its first industry led collaborative action teams to begin taking action. 

These two action teams are strategically important because they represent the first effort at driving toward regional solutions through cross sector collaboration.  Both teams have begun the process of clarifying the scope of their work, establishing timelines and identifying resources.

The first action team is focused on building opportunities for experiential learning.  Led by Bjorn Pave, Sr. Director of IT at Popsugar, this team is working to create a model for experiential learning with clear standards for candidate incoming skills, expectations for workplace learning impact and the launch a pilot program with an eye toward scale and replication.  The team anticipates launching its first two pilot programs in April, following the next quarterly all-partner convening. 

Following the status report, the partners expressed strong agreement and support for the high level plan proposed by this action team.  More specifically:

1.     Three additional partners joined the action team.

2.     The Alameda County WDB offered candidates, resources and funding to cover the cost of cohort training.

3.     United Way Bay Area offered support for monitoring and measuring results.

4.     Opportunity Junction offered to provide their current “Internship Success Instrument.”

5.     Peralta Colleges offered access to their work based and linked learning resources.

6.     The team received strong additional suggestions and recommendations for project content and development.

The second action team is focused on building community awareness of ICT careers and enabling connections between job seekers and employers.  Led by DeeDee Towery, CEO of Proactive Business Solutions, this team will focus on two primary strategies: 1) Identifying event-based strategies to bring together job seekers and employers; 2) Identifying digital platforms that connect job seekers to regional opportunities for internships and job shadowing. 

Following the status report, the partners again expressed strong agreement and support for the high level plan proposed by this action team.  Specifically:

1.     Four additional partners joined the action team.

2.     James Nixon with EBBC offered to provide the www.techpathways.org website as a resource for the action team.

3.     Alameda County WDB offered to connect the team with the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership which has had great success with a similar initiative.

4.     Urban Strategies Council offered to provide landscape analysis opportunities.

5.     All members provided additional suggestions and recommendations for project content and development.

Next Steps

The East Bay ICT Partnership will continue to meet quarterly to review and assess forward movement and to continue to employer led conversations about emerging industry needs.  The next meeting date has not been set but is anticipated to occur in early/mid April.

Daniel Kemether