On October 11, Orange County Business Council and Orange County Development Board hosted the 15th Annual Orange County Workforce Development Conference under the theme “Workforce Talent Taking Out: How innovation and globalization are changing the business climate. In addition to the release the 2016-2017 Workforce Indicators Report – which is a product of research and analysis conducted by both organizations. CLICK HERE for key findings of the report. The conference also featured OCBC Board Member Robbin Narike Preciado, Regional President, Union Bank, interviewing Leah Koontz, Vice President Controller, Southwest AirlinesDuring the interview, Koontz highlighted the culture of the airline as one of the key drivers for attracting and retaining talent. In her role, she leads numerous projects and teams and said that having a culture where people both care about the success of their fellow employees, as well as the wellbeing and success of the communities around them, is a major draw across all departments – especially for Millennials. She cited the numerous corporate social responsibility programs and grassroots efforts that allow Southwest Airlines to engage with the communities and people around them. Thank you to sponsors Union BankAT&TChevronCox CommunicationsJPMorgan Chase;Southwest AirlinesWells FargoCSU Fullerton; and SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union.
In addition to the interview, Dr. Wallace Walrod, Chief Economic Adviser to OCBC, gave an analysis of workforce trends and data, as well as the latest research regarding Common Core State Standards. He noted that Orange County is meeting, and in many cases, surpassing the state and peer regions in terms of Math and Language Arts achievements. However, while OC is a leader at producing skilled talent, retaining that talent has reached critical obstacles as housing prices continue to force young workers out of the market. Additionally, the advancements in technology will mean that many occupations will soon become heavily automated. Ensuring that the education system arms students with managerial and critical thinking skills is crucial to future workforce success. For more information, contact Dr. Wallace Walrod, Chief Economic Adviser to OCBC.
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