On March 30, 2024, the Inland Empire joined forces for some California history-making as IE representatives helped develop a regional path to a better future through the California Governor’s Master Plan for Career Education.

Left to Right: Matthew Mena, IEGO; Graciela Moran, IECF; Carina Tamayo, Office of Governor Gavin Newsom; Natalia T. Gonzalez, Riverside County Office of Education; Michael Wiafe, Office of Governor Gavin Newsom; Esmeralda Vazquez, Inland Empire Labor Institute; Joseph Williams, IECF Board Member

The Master Plan for Career Education is a transformative effort to completely revamp workforce strategies and ensure that every Californian has a pathway to a good-paying job. It unlocks an opportunity to address skill gaps, boost economic mobility, and strengthen our IE workforce.

By aligning education and training programs with local industry demands, improving access to career pathways for underserved populations, and fostering partnerships with employers, the Master Plan can help prepare residents of the Inland Empire for success in the workforce and contribute to the region’s economic growth and prosperity.

For the Inland Empire Community Foundation (IECF) and partners in the region, the Master Plan holds significant importance. The Inland Empire faces unique challenges and opportunities related to workforce development, including a diverse population, a growing economy with evolving industries, and a need to bridge education and training programs with local job opportunities.

The planning process included seven listening sessions across California, in the same regions that are also administering California Jobs First (formerly CERF) funding. The IE was identified early on as an important region for the state to collaborate with on the Plan’s design.

IECF and IEGO team members participated in this regional meeting to design specific solutions for the master plan’s core ideas.  Such gatherings empower IECF and other stakeholders to contribute to shaping the future of career education and workforce development in the Inland Empire. By engaging in this collaborative effort, they can ensure that the needs and priorities of our communities are reflected in the implementation of the Master Plan.

“Coalition partners, institutions, and local high school students from across the region were present and ready to get to work,” said Graciela Moran, IECF’s Associate Director of Policy and Community Engagement. “We created a positive atmosphere in that room to build solutions for our region. We thought of our neighbors, such as our youth – the 15-year-old high students navigating their options for the future. By coming together, we helped ensure that the Master Plan will serve the needs of the IE. We appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with the Governor’s Office and are fortunate to have strong regional partners supporting our efforts.”

In keeping with our focus on the Vital Conditions Framework, IECF understands the importance of “meaningful work and wealth” – where everyone can access good jobs with mortgage-sustaining wages and work that provides dignity and respect.  By prioritizing the development of careers that offer competitive salaries and benefits, a successful plan will propel access to housing, encourage long-term residency in the region, and improve and create generational wealth for residents. As we prioritize meaningful work and wealth, we’ll foster thriving communities throughout the Inland Empire.

Learn more about the good work we’re doing at IECF through the power of philanthropy. Subscribe to our free monthly eNewsletter, Philanthropy Matters.

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