Workforce Development

Workforce Development

The Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce (OMCC) is working actively with public, private, and nonprofit partners to ensure that the region’s workforce preparation system is responsive to the needs of both employers and job seekers. This includes engaging with industry and education providers to create and shape college and career pathways as well as curriculum. The Chamber is participating in industry sector partnerships from Information, Communications, and Technology (ICT) to Transportation and Logistics. These partnerships help address the workforce needs within target industries and expands employer participation.

Education and Workforce Partnership Survey

The Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce’s Education and Workforce Committee invites you to fill out the partnership interest form. We will use your responses to strengthen the connection between education institutions and employers to support our future workforce. We want to amplify industry voices in education to guide curriculum and structure that will result in a highly skilled workforce, higher job placement rates and academic/program completions.
Please note that you do not have to be an Oakland Chamber of Commerce Member to participate in this effort and you may respond as an individual and/or as a representative of your company. 

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has adversely affected us all. Moreover, the younger members of our society are profoundly and poignantly impacted by the pandemic.  Many of our students have begun to work, or work more hours, to support their families, because they have the time since they don’t have to attend class in-person. As an employer, you have the opportunity to provide the necessary mentorship, guidance, and encouragement to support our youth. 


How to Provide Mentorship and Guidance to Youth as an Employer

A campaign by the National League of Cities

We know that to be competitive in today’s workforce, people need at least a high school diploma. This is particularly important for students of color who face additional barriers due to systemic racism. However, only 79.8% of Oakland youth graduate high school and only 59.5% move on to postsecondary education.[1] Furthermore, the current global health crisis has increased unemployment rates, decreased available services for undocumented families, and forced K-12 and college students to continue with distance learning. As a result, we may see more youth disengage from their college and career goals thus hindering the potential of our future workforce. Now more than ever, we need to work together to provide additional support mechanisms wherever we can, and we know employers play a key role in closing the opportunity gap as one of the primary instructors and role models for our youth.

By engaging with Oakland youth and young adults, you have the power to:

  • Build accessible and equitable pathways to long-lasting careers
  • Strengthen Oakland’s workforce ecosystem
  • Encourage young people to stay in school
  • Ensure young people maintain school and work life balance
  • Increase academic achievement and completion rates
  • Foster an engaged community with citywide recognition

How to engage Start a conversation with a local young person. Here are a few questions to help you foster discussion and show your support.

  • How is school going?
  • How is distance learning?
  • How are you managing school and work?
  • What’s your favorite subject?
  • Have you heard of (insert organization name/resources)? They are doing/helping with (insert activity) for people around your age.

 Interested in learning more? Contact Ashleigh Smallwood at to learn more about available resources, programming, and other ways to support our youth.


Our Partners