The Role of Certifications and Badges in California’s Workforce World

Michael Bernick
Counsel with the international law firm of Duane Morris LLP, a Milken Institute Fellow and former Director of the California Employment Development Department

Within California’s workforce world over the past few years, there is growing interest in training certifications, and more recently in training badges. Both certifications and badges are seen as improving the transition of unemployed Californians into jobs. But do they do so, or are they mainly income generators for training institutes? Our friends from Treasure […]

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The Neurodiversity Moment in California

Michael Bernick
Counsel with the international law firm of Duane Morris LLP, a Milken Institute Fellow and former Director of the California Employment Development Department

In Fall 2015, we have reached a neurodiversity moment in California. Conferences on neurodiversity are being held on a regular basis, such as the “Neurodiversity in the High Tech Workforce” conference held recently at the Microsoft campus in Mountain View. Over 150 persons from throughout Silicon Valley gathered to hear neuroscientists and Silicon Valley venture […]

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The Jobs Perplex (2): California, Labor Day 2015

Michael Bernick
Counsel with the international law firm of Duane Morris LLP, a Milken Institute Fellow and former Director of the California Employment Development Department

We arrive at Labor Day 2015, with a much different story line in California than previous Labor Days. Four years ago, our Labor Day 2011 posting, entitled the Jobs Perplex, looked at the slow pace of job growth of the Great Recession recovery. Then the Perplex was why job growth was slower than previous recoveries. […]

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Tom Steyer’s “Fair Shake”… And Ours

Michael Bernick
Counsel with the international law firm of Duane Morris LLP, a Milken Institute Fellow and former Director of the California Employment Development Department

Last week, Tom Steyer announced the establishment of his “Fair Shake Commission On Inequality and Opportunity in California”. The Commission’s charge: to come forward by later January 2016 with solutions to “growing income inequality in California”. The announcement did not receive extensive coverage, beyond a San Francisco Chronicle report. The lack of media coverage probably […]

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“Farmer John” Matthesen and California’s Urban Agriculture Movement

Michael Bernick
Counsel with the international law firm of Duane Morris LLP, a Milken Institute Fellow and former Director of the California Employment Development Department

Throughout California’s 112 community colleges faculty members are active as entrepreneurs and creators of businesses. “Farmer John” Matthesen, a faculty member in the Culinary department at Diablo Valley College (DVC) in Contra Costa, has had several careers as an entrepreneur in California. His current career finds him deeply involved in two of California’s growing industries, […]

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Middle Class Jobs: All Things Old Are New Again

Michael Bernick
Counsel with the international law firm of Duane Morris LLP, a Milken Institute Fellow and former Director of the California Employment Development Department

 All things old are new again in summer 2015 when it comes to strategies for expanding middle class jobs in California and nationwide. The policy concerns being debated today (income inequality, technology eliminating jobs, expanding middle class jobs) have all been here before, as have been the strategies put forward (apprenticeships, sector-based training, community college […]

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The Employment Training Panel: 1982, Today, Going Forward

Michael Bernick
Counsel with the international law firm of Duane Morris LLP, a Milken Institute Fellow and former Director of the California Employment Development Department

Over the past 33 years, job-training programs have come and gone in California. Some, such as the state California Worksite Education and Training Act (CWETA) were funded as pilots for a few years, but not extended. Others, such as the federal Job Training Partnership Act were restructured under new titles (the Workforce Investment Act).   But […]

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The Construction Jobs Rebound in California

Michael Bernick
Counsel with the international law firm of Duane Morris LLP, a Milken Institute Fellow and former Director of the California Employment Development Department

In last Friday’s California jobs report by far the greatest percentage job growth was in the Construction sector.  Construction employment gained 6100 jobs over the month and 36,600 jobs over the year—a 6.9% employment gain, considerably higher than the other 11 employment sectors. Let’s bring in Mr. Brandon Hooker, labor market analyst for EDD’s Labor […]

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Why Doesn’t Nick Kristof Just Help This Unemployed Man?

Michael Bernick
Counsel with the international law firm of Duane Morris LLP, a Milken Institute Fellow and former Director of the California Employment Development Department

There is a cottage industry of writers and activists in the United States who lecture us about what we should be doing as a nation for unemployed people, but who do nothing on their own to help individual unemployed persons. This long list is headed by several New York Times columnists, particularly Nicholas Kristof. Kristof’s […]

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Can You Help CareerArc Find the Corinthian College Students?

Michael Bernick
Counsel with the international law firm of Duane Morris LLP, a Milken Institute Fellow and former Director of the California Employment Development Department

Last week I wrote about the abrupt closing of Corinthian Colleges (Heald College, Everest College, WyoTech) in California, leaving over 10,000 students short of completing their vocational/job training courses, and/or getting jobs. Well-known Southern California entrepreneur Robin Richards quickly weighed in. Richards is currently the CEO of CareerArc, based in Burbank. He asked how he […]

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