Workforce Development was chosen to be a focus in Vision 2020 because without skilled and knowledgeable employees our local economy will suffer tremendously.
Developing adequate skilled workers is the only way Lodi will attract new employers.
The uphill challenges we face are driven by inescapable factors, according to the *PEW Research Center including:
- Fewer workers to fill jobs vacated by retiring Baby Boomers, some 10,000 per day for the next 16 years.
- A high school drop-out rate in the neighborhood of 20 percent.
- Only approximately 20 percent of the population goes on to graduate from post-secondary education, whether community college, or a four-year degree.
- Demographic shifts will see more people in Lodi being dependent on fewer who are working, many of whom make a lower wage.
Our Workforce Development Vision Action Team, (WFDVAT) identified multiple strategies to increase the development of Lodi's workforce. In 2020, job awareness among youth coupled with job availability will have created a good foundation for Lodi’s future workforce. Young workers, and their families, appreciate and are attracted to Lodi for the unique sense of community and “Home Town” magnetism.
STRATEGY 1: Create a positive awareness for jobs in Lodi among youth
- Seek funding through the Chamber’s 501c3 for a comprehensive workforce development program beginning in elementary grades (exposure) and culminating at the College level.
- Create a program through the Chamber’s Partners In Education (PIE) program to introduce middle school children to the many job choices available in Lodi. (awareness)
- Provide various job-acquainting programs to Lodi Unified School District students through job fairs, mentoring, and job-shadowing and including a “Hire Me First” program.
- Coordinate High School job exposure to Delta College certificated programs for career, tech or skilled trade jobs.
STRATEGY 2: Research & identify job opportunities for future entry level jobs.
- Work with local industry to identify job creation opportunities in rolling 5 year increments.
- Target marketing may be used to attract needed job skills if not available.
- Expand a program for At-Risk youth that teaches the importance/value of education as it relates to becoming a knowledgeable worker and obtaining career tech jobs
STRATEGY 3: Education relating to existing workforce
- Work with College partner to identify and develop curriculum for certification programs for desired jobs, i.e. industrial electricians and other technical programs for manufacturing plants.
- Trade School Academy: Create a collaborative effort between willing partners (public/private) to provide an academy for at-risk youth to fundamentally prepare them for the workplace (read, write, communicative skills). The academy teaches job skills needed in manufacturing and other local industry needs.
Want to make an impact in your community through Workforce Development? Contact us to let us know of your interest!