KPCC’s forum programs, live events and community engagement team bringing unique and relevant face-to-face programming to the region.


Building a 21st century workforce and market – what’s the solution? (#affordableCA)

Tuesday, November 10, 2015, 7:00pm - 8:30pm
The Milken Institute 1250 Fourth Street Santa Monica, CA 90401 Map and directions
KPCCRadio (via YouTube)

Let’s ask a few questions: Do you need a job? Or want a better one? Or can’t find qualified employees for your business?

Despite a positive economic outlook as California emerges from recession, our state’s unemployment rate of just over six percent continues to track higher than the national rate of 5.1 percent.* Over the past few decades, the state has struggled both to retain skilled workers needed for growth and to train new workers to fill vacancies. These twin dilemmas stem in part from the high cost of housing, which forces many workers to leave the state, and inadequate opportunities for education and training. California’s economic success has increasingly depended on the ability of business, especially small business, to grow and hire new workers. The recession was especially hard on the small businesses, and their recovery has been slower than in previous economic slow-downs.

How can state leaders, employers, members of the workforce and educators work together to attract and retain skilled workers? And how can those efforts expand businesses and the California marketplace? Join KPCC and the Milken Institute as they take on these questions and search for solutions that make sense in our ever growing and developing region.

*The Labor Market Information Division (LMID) is the official source for California Labor Market Information. 


Ben Bergman: Senior Reporter on the Southern California Economy, KPCC (@TheBenBergman)


Jessica Goodheart: Director of the RePower L.A. project at LAANE , the Los Angeles Alliance for New Economy, a non-profit focusing on efforts to address the challenges of working poverty, inadequate health care and polluted communities. (@LAANE)

Kevin Klowden: Managing Director, California Center and Managing Economist, the Milken Institute (@KevinKlowden)

Russell Ragsdale: Strategic Planning Principal Manager of Grid Modernization in the Electric System Planning department at Southern California Edison (@SCE @edisonintl)

Van Ton-Quinlivan: Vice Chancellor for Workforce and Economic Development, California Community Colleges; she is vice chair of the National Skills Coalition, co-chair of the Workforce Action Team of the California Economic Summit and serves on the California Council on Science and Technology. (@WorkforceVan@CalCommColleges)


This program is the third in our series, “Rescuing the California Dream: Policies for an Affordable Future.” The series is co-presented by KPCC/Southern California Public Radio and the Milken Institute.

Thousands of Californians face the very real possibility of being priced out of their communities. These public forums will explore the rising cost of education and housing and the dwindling opportunity to reach, or remain within, the middle class. In the first three programs, leaders in government, business, academia, community and philanthropy will dissect the problems and search for solutions to California’s affordability challenge. A fourth installment will be part of the 2015 Milken Institute California Summit and will serve as a platform to provide expert analysis and inform potential policy recommendations.