CA EDGE Coalition’s Policy Agenda:
Economic Mobility for All Californians
The CA EDGE Coalition’s policy agenda builds upon previous efforts to respond to the needs of low/no-income students, adult learners, workers, and employers during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Our goal is to strengthen, improve, and broaden the lens of traditional education and training during these challenging economic times and to address the ongoing changes in our workforce, communities, and the labor market.
To ensure economic mobility for all Californians, we must secure a stable safety net for low-income students, adult learners, and dislocated workers; keep colleges functioning and support their move to online instruction; and work with our industry partners to stabilize their workforce – all while ensuring sound policies are implemented through a racial equity lens. As we’ve seen, the pandemic has disproportionately impacted women, workers in low wage occupations, communities of color, and immigrants – particularly Black and Latinx communities. The CA EDGE Coalition stands ready to work collaboratively with Governor Newsom, the Legislature, and our stakeholder partners to accomplish our policy priorities, which are:
1. Support funding for education and workforce training programs to create pathways to quality jobs by integrating competency-based education and credit for prior learning, and better align and expand career tech and adult education programs that respond to high demand sectors of the economy.
2. Protect, grow, and expand existing and innovative “learn and earn” opportunities, especially apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs by elevating blended learning, including online and hands-on training, in high-demand fields and expand work-based training opportunities that support workers in underserved communities.
3. Expand and secure a social safety net for underserved communities to remove barriers to quality jobs by assisting low/no-income students, adult learners, communities of color, and dislocated workers to access support services that address basic needs such as food, housing, transportation, childcare, and healthcare, which will enable them to complete their programs of study and secure quality jobs.
4. Secure quality broadband access for all by supporting the expansion of reliable high-speed internet access, especially in underserved communities, in addition to ensuring equitable learning and training can continue while physical distancing orders are in place, and close the digital divide.
5. Support workers and employers in COVID-19 response and recovery by strengthening partnerships between business, education, workforce, and community-based organizations; supporting economic stimulus funding and employer incentives to assist businesses in rebuilding capacity and retaining/rehiring their workforce, and reimagine opportunities within the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.
6. Support the development and implementation of California’s longitudinal data system by ensuring the integration of statewide data across education, workforce, and human services systems is public-facing, transparent, secure, and includes the adult learner and worker voice. Having access to quality public data will help individuals, researchers, policymakers, and advocates inform decision making through outcome transparency and can improve program/institutional effectiveness.