Oakland Chamber Promotes
Expressing the Voice of Industry
in Regional Workforce Talent Development
On June 27th, Barbara Leslie, President and CEO of the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, brought together workforce and economic development professionals to form an alliance focused on education and training in the East Bay. The industry-led discussion consisted of workforce and economic development professionals, dedicated community and business partners, including leaders of industry sector partnerships, and diversity and inclusion and human resources associations. Attendees expressed interest in developing a regional alliance that would support their discrete work while providing opportunities for regional education and workforce alignment with industry partnerships at the core. Overall, they seek to strengthen not only their capacity to hire, train and retain employees, but ensure a sustainable regional talent pipeline.
Strengthening the Interface between Businesses and Education
The Chamber’s education and workforce development initiative, supported by a grant from the Irvine Foundation, is focused on strengthening and streamlining the interface between businesses and education/training programs. This is essential to significantly enhance the successful work-related connections for youth and adults, preparing them for productive and rewarding lives, while meeting the philanthropic, civic and workforce development priorities of employers. The fragmented nature of the current interface has been one of the major friction points in achieving success in meaningful, long-term job development. The Chamber initiative is to develop specific ways to seamlessly engage industry in partnerships with educators and training providers. Key Regional Industry Sector Partnerships, focused on Information and Communication Technologies, Global Trade and Logistics, Advanced Manufacturing and Healthcare, have developed a model that has the potential for positively impacting the difficult interface between business and education/training programs by focusing on sector partnerships in discrete industries, rather than a general regional objective.
Sector Partnership Model
The June 27th meeting included an introduction to the sector partnership model, facilitated discussions about sustainability, and leveraging the partnerships as a cornerstone of a potential education and workforce alliance. As an active convener and facilitator in the sector partnerships, the Chamber refers new industry members (including, in one instance a partnership co-chair), and works with talent pipeline committees to define skill needs, and connect with educators.
Regional Employer Engagement & Career Pathway Development via the Chamber
The spring and summer are busy times for workforce development at the Chamber. Concurrent with convening the group to investigate the development of the workforce alliance, the Chamber continues its discrete and transformational work in regional employer engagement and career pathway development. Examples include facilitating a partnership between Merritt College and Lawrence Livermore Lab leading to cyber security summer internship opportunities, and support for a more complete computer science degree program. The Chamber also facilitated an expanded partnership between PG&E and Oakland Unified School District to increase energy pathway offerings and provided 20 summer internships to local students.
The Chamber continues to advocate for the adoption of a promising community college accelerated math program shown to have success preparing students to tackle science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) career coursework. The Chamber has facilitated discussions between the industry-led program developers, the STEM Core Network, and enthusiastic community college faculty, workforce development staff, and academic senate members. Chamber activities like these, integrated with regional network development efforts such as the Workforce Alliance gathering, are designed to increase opportunity for all the region’s young people, while ensuring a robust talent pipeline to meet the needs of growing industry sectors.
BE A HERO: CYBER DEFENDER INTERNSHIP SPONSORS NEEDED
News From The East Bay Linked Learning Hub of Excellence
The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, at the fore of cyber security research and operations, has a number of internships available for Oakland Unified School District and Merritt College students in its rigorous Cyber Defenders summer program. According to Mark Butler, Industry Engagement Director, East Bay Linked Learning Hub of Excellence, the multi-week program provides students with education and hands-on training in the fast-paced, in-demand cyber arena, one of the nation's fastest growing occupational sectors. "We're in need of sponsors and partners to underwrite the stipend funding for this summer's students," said Mr. Butler. If your organization can assist this program, please contact Mark Butler.
CYBER DEFENDERS SUMMER 2017
Cyber Defenders student internship is a 10-week subsidized, paid summer program. The program offers a compelling introduction to the field of Cyber Security, offering practical experience to qualified students to consider careers in Cyber Security. During the internship program students receive practical experience in computer systems, network operations, computer security, information protection and cyber policy.
The highly rigorous summer program consists of projects, classes, seminars, presentations, meetings, a poster session, a cyber policy debate and a team challenge. Employers are encouraged to also submit special projects that are designed to give youth a deeper understanding of overall Cyber Security career trends and opportunities. During the 10-week internship student interns have the opportunity to develop skills that may include intrusion detection and prevention, network monitoring and analyst algorithms, anomaly detection and machine learning, host forensics, network archaeology, malware analysis and cyber security policy.
Under the guidance of Lab mentors, students complete a research project and share their results through posters and presentations.“The Merritt college students exhibited independence and innovation during their summer at LLNL. They successfully executed their projects, taking our challenging problems and creatively developing solutions to solve them. They asked insightful questions, researched using various techniques and tested their hypotheses. I was impressed with their desire to learn new technologies, and asserting themselves into new situations with new people.” – Eveline (Evi) Dube, Ph.D, PMP, Associate Program Leader for Network Exploitation, Z Program/Global Security, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
The Oakland Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with school districts, community colleges, and industry employers from Contra Costa to Hayward, is actively addressing the need to align educational opportunities with the workforce needs of industry in the region. A prime example of the Chamber’s work is the East Bay Linked Learning Hub of Excellence, a multi-year initiative made possible with the support of James Irvine Foundation. By turning high school education into a personally relevant, engaging experience for all students, Linked Learning exposes them to previously unimagined college and career opportunities. Research shows Linked Learning students have higher rates of engagement and higher graduation rates than their peers at traditional high schools. This approach to education is helping to create an engaged, disciplined, and productive future workforce for California, ready to succeed in college, career, and life. Find out more about Linked Learning here.
2016 SUCCESSES IN LINKED LEARNING
The Chamber, in its role as Anchor of the East Bay Linked Learning Hub of Excellence, is pleased its work connecting and coordinating industry partners and school programs showed early results.
On June 13, 2016, two Merritt College students began 10-week internships with the Lawrence Livermore National Lab’s Cyber Defenders program. This intensive scientist-lead summer program had students working in teams on real problems being investigated at the Lab.
The students are graduates of the Merritt College Cyber Security Program, and the internships are the first phase of a developing partnership between the school and LLNL that was initiated and coordinated by the Chamber’s industry engagement work. The partnership extends to technical support for the build out of a full computer science degree offering which includes an accelerated math curriculum designed to help students with limited math backgrounds attain a level of proficiency sufficient to insure success in the study of engineering and computer science. The Lab is also partnering on resource development in support of this build out, and the continuation of student internships.
The Chamber sees this effort as a model for industry participation in the development of career pathway education in the region. Please contact Mark Butler, Industry Engagement Director, for information as to how your organization can participate in this important initiative.
LINKED LEARNING FAQs
Download the Linked Learning FAQs and learn how you can participate in and support this important initiative.
WHAT IS THE EAST BAY LINKED LEARNING HUB OF EXCELLENCE?
The Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with school districts, community colleges, and industry employers from Contra Costa to Hayward, is actively addressing the need to align educational opportunities with the workforce needs of industry in the region.
A prime example of the Chamber’s work is the recently launched East Bay Linked Learned Hub of Excellence, a multi-year initiative made possible with the support of James Irvine Foundation. Part of the broader effort underway in California known as “Linked Learning,” the initiative integrates academics with career-based learning and real-world workplace experiences. The Chamber’s role in the program is to serve as the central anchor organization that connects education, industry, and government partners to further develop work-based learning in the region.
As the program’s lead and anchor intermediary in the East Bay, the Chamber is responsible for developing and coordinating regional strategy to create and strengthen career pathways. The overall goal of the Chamber’s effort is to create more and better career opportunities for our region’s young people.
What is a career pathway?
A well-developed career pathway is a strong partnership with education, industry, and government partners that systematically builds awareness of, interest in, and skills for high-demand jobs. By way of example, a career pathway may initially begin with a workplace tour or career fair to build awareness of the range of available careers. It might then include a job shadow to allow individuals to further explore career opportunities. From there, the next step in a career pathway might be a paid internship to allow students to further develop their skills. Finally, a career pathway might include a paid job featuring robust on-the-job training to allow students to develop a mastery of job skills.
Career pathways can be developed for a range of industries based on industry needs. The East Bay Hub of Excellence is in the process of developing career pathways for the following sectors: computer science, advanced manufacturing, healthcare, cybersecurity, and transportation and logistics.
Get involved: Education and industry partnerships
The Chamber has hired two East Bay Linked Learning Hub of Excellence staff members that may be contacted for more information about education and industry partnerships. Courtney Riley serves as the Linked Learning Program manager, with a focus on working with and developing new education partners to scale Linked Learning practices. Mark Butler is the Hub’s Industry Engagement Director and works with regional industry employers to connect them with work-based learning opportunities.
EDUCATION AND INDUSTRY WORKING TOGETHER: LINKED LEARNING HUB OF EXCELLENCE
Through the Linked Learning collaboration between the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) and local businesses – in which the Chamber of Commerce has played a significant part – high school student interns in OUSD college and career pathways programs contribute a combined 27,500 hours to over 61 local Oakland companies every July.
This is one of the many benefits of Linked Learning – where students get real life work experience that relates to what they’re studying in the classroom, a proven way to keep kids in school and inspire higher achievement and graduation levels, while also teaching basic professional skills.
Student interns prepare for their summer internship experience in Oakland companies for two years by participating in lessons and work-based learning opportunities through Oakland’s Exploring College and Career Options (ECCO) program. Fremont High School Media Academy teacher Jasmine Miranda reports “ECCO is hitting the mark. Hosts are so thrilled that ECCO students come with training, support, case management, and a year’s worth of internship prep curriculum under their belt.”
The goals of the summer internship program are to promote students’ interest in post-secondary education and to develop the skills required to be successful in the 21st-century workplace. An internship that provides a rich learning environment sends an important message to students: learning and earning are intrinsically related. Student interns work full-time or part-time in the workplace on their project and receive an educational stipend and school credit. They are supervised during the summer by OUSD teachers, who act as a liaison to the work site supervisors.
Host companies are asked to identify a project to which students can contribute over a five-week period. Some of the projects student interns have participated in include: managing a database to assist with a community relations campaign, creating brochures explaining services and training, advertising and marketing a fundraising event, updating social media and online presence for companies, researching real estate values for an upcoming bond measure, data entry and analysis.
Company hosts report ECCO interns bring an impressive array of technology skills to their work, ranging from Microsoft Office applications, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, web page development and maintenance, data entry and analysis. Ayo Akatugba, a teacher from the Green Energy Academy says, “Partners are so excited. They really cannot believe that students can complete the high level skills that they do at work sites. This program really works. Students are deepening learning, and partners are excited to be at work because of the students.”
Chamber of Commerce members who are interested in finding ways to partner with Oakland Unified School District college and career pathway students and teachers can contact Gilbert Pete, OUSD Workforce and Economic Development Coordinator, at email@example.com or visit Linked Learning Design Lab/Industry Partners at www.ousd.org.
Opportunities for Outreach
How can I get involved with the Oakland Linked Learning Hub of Excellence?
There are many ways you can involve yourself in the Linked Learning program. You can:
- Donate computers and other computer equipment to OTX, refurbishment partner for the Oakland Unified School District.
- Fund the cause to close the connectivity gap for Oakland families via Get Connected Oakland
- Support East Bay College Fund with your time or donations.
- Host a high school student for a summer internship through OUSD's The College and Career Readiness Office
- Become a Linked Learning community partner as a guest speaker or mentor.
- Public Policy
- Economic Development
- Events & Programs