Member Spotlight: San Diego Workforce Partnership

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June 12, 2018

Tell us about your company.

The San Diego Workforce Partnership (SDWP) funds myriad programs that empower job seekers to meet the current and future workforce needs of employers in San Diego County. We are the local Workforce Development Board, designated by the City and County of San Diego.

What products or services does your business provide?

Together with community partners, we provide targeted employment services designed to help eligible adult job seekers identify, or regain, a career that will promote their success. Additionally, our network of America’s Job Center of California sites provides employment services, including career assessment, job training and job search assistance for San Diego residents whether unemployed or employed. Housed within the career centers is a business services team comprised of professionals who work directly with employers to meet their specific staffing needs at no cost. We fund youth programs that provide work-readiness training to youth from low-income households as well as youth who are at risk of dropping out of school. The goal is to prepare young adults for high school graduation, post-secondary education and, ultimately, a career. We also administer youth employment programs CONNECT2Careers and the Life Sciences Summer Institute. We serve as a vital source of information on the region’s labor market. The research department is the go-to expert on workforce trends, in-demand occupations and high-growth industries in San Diego County. We produce in-depth industry reports and other products that focus on key workforce topics and trends. This data informs job seekers, career counselors, trainers and educators about what employers are looking for in the current and future labor force.

What was the most memorable or successful moment in your business' history?

A recent milestone was being awarded the WIOA Trailblazer Award by the National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB). We were selected out of 550 workforce development boards nationwide. This award recognizes a workforce development board that has been a leader in adopting the changes envisioned in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and in expanding its ability to develop comprehensive workforce solutions for its community. According to NAWB, SDWP actively coordinates industry engagement, developing a single-entry point for business customers. We are exploring a streamlined approach to business services focused on meeting the needs of the business customer quickly and effectively through rapid employer assessment. We have a priority sector strategy and have tapped into deep relationships with community colleges, state colleges and universities to identify existing courses and programs that provide low barriers to entry and high level of growth through stackable credentials and certifications. We serve thousands of young people in San Diego County through WIOA-funded providers and locally funded special projects like TechHire and CONNECT2Careers. We are committed to making monitoring more holistic, sharing resources across programs, and using human-centered design concepts to bring customer feedback into improvements.

Tell us an interesting fact about your business.

We have an annual Wallace Open honoring our longterm staff member Willie Wallace, a program specialist who has dedicated his 50-year career to the success of workforce programs. "Mr. Wallace," as Willie is affectionately known around the office, says "[I love] playing a part in the design and implantation of various workforce initiatives, witnessing the positive effect that workforce programs have on youth and adults' lives (e.g., seeing a drop-out return to school or get their GED and obtaining a job when it took so much perseverance for them to achieve their positive outcome), seeing youth and adults feel good about themselves as a result of their achievements." "There is nothing more exciting than to see youth and young adults achieve a milestone that at one time in their lives seemed so far from achieving. You see the proud faces of parents, girlfriends, wives, sometimes children and other supporters. It’s a good feeling for all involved."

What tips/advice can you offer that is related to your business' industry?

Having served San Diego County in a variety of ways for over 40 years, we recommend investing in human-centered approaches to serve our clients—ask end users what they would like to see or how they think programs and services can be improved, and incorporate that feedback into improvement strategies.

Do you have any upcoming events or information you want your fellow Chamber Members and the community to know about?

If you own a business and can use subsidies for training or hiring, we can help. If you are looking for a job, our career centers can help. If you are a workforce professional looking for the latest labor market and industry research, we can help.

*Picture at top: Alex Pierson, Owner of Amplified Ale Works, received funding to train his staff through the San Diego Workforce Partnership’s Customized Training program. Courtesy of the San Diego Workforce Partnership.

For more information on San Diego Workshop Partnership, please visit their website at or call (619) 228-2900.

Wilda Wong, Communication Specialist
(619) 228-2900