Report

Addressing the Needs of Employers and Workers in the Salinas Valley


Five cities in the Salinas Valley—Gonzales, Greenfield, King City, Salinas, and Soledad—are working together in an innovative regional initiative to assess the workforce, education, and training assets in their communities; compile a comprehensive labor market information (LMI) analysis of the region; and ultimately develop sustainable, regional sector partnerships that will identify and address the workforce needs of two industry sectors that are key to the regional economy. These partnerships—comprised of employers within a specific industry, education and training providers, and other key stakeholders with the capacity to address the workforce needs of a sector—will identify the common workforce needs of the target sector and develop and implement solutions customized to meet those needs.

In addition to benefiting employers, these partnerships will aid workers seeking to enter and advance in these industries. The National Resource Network (NRN) is supported this endeavor by providing assistance through its partner Jobs for the Future (JFF), a Boston-based nonprofit that focuses on helping states and regions develop and implement innovative and effective workforce and education models.

Beginning in October 2015, JFF staff conducted three site visits in the Salinas Valley to meet with city leadership and complete extensive asset mapping, which has also helped support the LMI analysis.

Based on this work, JFF has developed this Sector Partnership Plan to help the five cities identify and address key decision points needed to launch sector partnerships in targeted industries. This Sector Partnership Plan includes a summary of key LMI for the Salinas Valley, focusing primarily on two of the largest sectors in the area, agriculture and health care. It summarizes key findings from JFF’s asset mapping, and outlines key issues and recommendations for the cities to consider as they take the critical next steps in launching sector partnerships.