The Next Economy Capital Region Prosperity Plan has requested a scalable pilot program, Jumpstart (JS21), for connecting locally educated and disadvantaged STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) graduates to employment and resources locally. The purpose of JS21 is to address the disparities that today’s workforce, particularly those originating from disadvantaged communities, face in acquiring the appropriate skills and knowledge to be successful in today’s economy.
JS21 aids disadvantaged college graduates by providing the necessary training or “on-boarding skills” through internship placement. This placement addresses the growing disparity between recent college graduates and employment in small-to-medium sized enterprises (SMEs) seeking to secure a STEM skilled replacement workforce.
Our goal is to bolster the Capital Region economy by diffusing the necessary skills and actionable knowledge that assists disadvantaged STEM educated graduates secure and maintain employment with SMEs, which are strategizing on how best to supplement an aging Baby-Boomer workforce.
In order to achieve this goal, SACC is partnering with a number of workforce development boards, STEM associated trade and industry groups, and SACC partnership organizations in recruiting both recent graduates and STEM-challenged SMEs for the JS21.
Currently, JS21’s focus is the six-county Capital Region (El Dorado, Placer, Sutter, Yolo, Yuba and Sacramento County), although the JS21 concept is designed to be scalable statewide. The following is a brief description of the program elements:
1. Outreach (Intake and Assessment)
The proposal team will create a themed brand and marketing campaign that our program partners will implement through their existing outreach programs and their communication mediums tailored to the two audiences: recent STEM graduates and STEM challenged SMEs. We will also participate in and host events, workshops, local community and business meetings, or other activities where these two audiences congregate. The campaign will reinforce the value of STEM resources and demonstrate the benefits of the JS21 program in satisfying current STEM needs.
2. Boot Camp
JS21 will allow unemployed recent college graduates access to an on-board education plan catered to their STEM industry sector selection. Key conversations are then scheduled with industry-aligned leaders and personnel to help participants quickly acclimate to the culture of their chosen industry sector. The boot camp portion of the program will provide JS21 participants applicable industry intelligence, including insight into professional trade associations, public outreach tools, social media strategies and a host of soft-skills and professional guidance.
Working in collaboration with our trade and industry association partners, SACC will draw upon our proprietary business intelligence database to target, inform and recruit a number of specific STEM industry related small business entities. JS21 will then connect these entities to STEM-educated JS21 program participants. As an additional, this type of lead generation activity encourages SMEs to access the bundle of enhanced technical assistance, contract matchmaking services and financial vehicles of SACC and other partners in order to prepare and help these SMEs thrive and grow.
The JS21 program will also house a mentoring component that will be provided by the Chamber’s Catalyst Leadership Program. This leadership program takes 20 identified young professionals who are tracked for upper management within anchor institutions and immerses them in a 9-month leadership program that transitions these young professional from managers to leaders.
As part of the 9-month leadership program, a mentoring component will be established as a requirement of graduation tied directly to the JS21 program. Each STEM-related college graduate that enters into the JS21 boot camp will have the opportunity to be paired with a established professional from the Catalyst Leadership Program.
This mentorship is an invaluable part of the program as young established professionals, who are transforming from managers to leaders, can help guide each of our STEM-related college graduates in industry focused areas as they embark on their internships with SMEs in the industry clusters of the Next Economy.
For more information, contact Lauren Oto at firstname.lastname@example.org.