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Workforce development is more important than ever as California faces a hollowing out of middle class jobs, the rise of robots and automation in more professions, an evolving gig-economy, a growing discussion about social justice and racial discrimination in the workplace, and a deep recession.

We co-hosted a virtual conversation with the Milken Institute about the California economy’s workforce needs, and how educators and training programs are meeting them. CalMatters higher education reporter Mikhail Zinshteyn moderated the conversation on what is being done by state and local authorities, universities and private employers — and how workforce training they’ve used for years must be reformed right now to meet the evolving needs of a rapidly changing world.

This event took place on Friday, September 18.


  • Dr. Soraya M. Coley, president, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona / Member, California Future of Work Commission
  • Abby Snay, deputy secretary for the Future of Work, California Labor & Workforce Development Agency
  • Jessica Ku Kim, senior director of Workforce Development, Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation
  • Greg Nosal, senior director of talent acquisition, Northrop Grumman Corporation

You can read a recap of key takeaways from the discussion. You can also watch video and audio recordings of the discussion. To view a resource guide from this event, please click here.

This is event is part of a series of virtual discussions hosted by CalMatters and the Milken Institute about California’s response, recovery, and resilience strategies in a post-COVID landscape, and what the “Future of Work” means now to educators, employers, college students and cities statewide.

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Vanessa is a former business journalist who has covered personal investing, venture capital, startups and business management for publications like Entrepreneur, Money, the San Francisco Business Times...