Over 250 business, community and academic leaders joined OCBC and Orange County Workforce Investment Board at the 2015 Workforce Development Conference Thursday, October 8 at the Island Hotel to answer the question  “Bridging the Workforce Gap: What Does Business Need to Know?” Conference attendees heard from report researcher Dr. Wallace Walrod, Chief Economic Adviser to OCBC, who discussed some of the key findings of the 2015/2016 Workforce Indicators Report, as well as from a panel of experts including Jason Tysko, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation; Noel Massie, UPS; The Honorable Chris Holden, CA State Assembly; Brian McMahon, CA Department of Labor and Workforce Development; and moderator Robbin Narike Preciado, Union Bank.  Dr. Walrod’s research revealed that Millennials are an important generation with significant impact on the regional economy as they make up 21 percent of Orange County’s workforce, and dispelled some of the common myths associated with the group, such as the notion that they are lazy, or unlikely to be an asset to employers. Instead, data shows that Millennials are the most educated age group in the workforce.

Instead, data shows that Millennials are among the most educated age group, which is likely to benefit both employers and the generation in long run and assist with the issue of having initially faced a stalled start in their careers due to the Great Recession. The panel discussed their reactions to the report findings, as well as their thoughts on what policies and solutions must be implemented in order to bridge the workforce gap and prepare the newest generation of workers for a 21st century global economy. CLICK HERE to view key findings from the report. CLICK HERE for an editorial from The Orange County Register on the need to close the skills gap. CLICK HERE for photos from the event. For more information, contact Alicia Berhow, Vice President, Workforce Development and Advocacy.

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