Workforce Development Professionals Boost Their Careers
Mayor-Elect to Graduates: 'I love this, I can't tell you how much I love this!'

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Sacramento’s new city leader saluted the graduates of an innovative professional development program at Sacramento State. Mayor-elect Darrell Steinberg sent them off with a challenge – to inspire the educational and career paths of young people and to reach them when they are as young as 14.

Megan Bailey was training to be a graphic artist, not realizing at the time that the labor market was drying up. “If only I had a career coach,” she said, referring to the years when she was out of work and in need of some guidance and reassurance. 

With bills piling up, she decided to take her career in a new direction. She transformed herself into the very resource she needed all those years ago. Bailey became a job coach.

“Your work is so important.” – Sacramento Mayor-Elect Darrell Steinberg

For the past nine years Bailey has helped hundreds of individuals, including homeless men and women, receive the services and training they needed to enter the job market. Now, she was the one going through an innovative training.

The Workforce Development Professional Apprenticeship Program at Sacramento State caught the imagination of the city’s newly elected mayor.

Workforce development professionals in Sacramento complete a new apprenticeship program in California, Nov. 2016. (Morgan Murphy/College of Continuing Education)

This was the first apprenticeship program through the College of Continuing Education (CCE) and a new kind of apprenticeship for the State of California.

The program combined a dozen college-level courses with more than 2,000 hours of on-the-job training. The Sacramento Employment and Training Agency (SETA) sent some of its most promising job coaches through the program.

“I love this, I can’t tell you how much I love this.” – Sacramento Mayor-Elect Darrell Steinberg 

Steinberg saluted the program’s first graduating class. ”Your work is so important,” he stressed, in directing “industries and jobs to young people in our community.” He urged the workforce development professionals to take the lead, to work with young people and create educational and career pathways when they are as young as 14.

Steinberg went on to salute the graduates’ dedication in getting unemployed individuals back to work. And then, the apprenticeship program struck him.

The graduates finally got the professional training they deserved, he said. Not only did they earn the first industry-valued certificate, they were getting a promotion at SETA and a 5-percent raise. “That’s what I call connecting the dots in all of the right ways,” he added.

“I love this,” Steinberg told the graduates. I can’t tell you how much I love this.”

Workforce development professional Megan Bailey uses her graphic skills during a class presentation, 2016. (Babette Jimenez/College of Continuing Education.)

“I feel I have the capacity of being a workforce development leader.” - Megan Bailey, graduate

“This was an amazing day,” said Bailey, who had something extra to celebrate at the graduation ceremony. She was headed to a new job.

The California Workforce Association hired her and two other graduates, Brandon Anderson and Matt Hidalgo, as program managers, a far bigger promotion than they expected. 

“If someone were to say that they were born in nine months, I feel like I was reborn in the nine months that I had in this apprenticeship,” Bailey said.

Be sure to check out photos of the graduation and the video: “Meet the Apprentices!”

For more information, please visit the Workforce Development Professional web page or contact CCE Senior Program Developer Babette Jimenez at jimenezb@csus.edu.

Photo: Mayor-elect Darrell Steinberg, next to CCE Senior Program Developer Babette Jimenez, congratulates the first graduates of the Workforce Development Professional Apprenticeship Program, Nov. 2016. (Morgan Murphy/College of Continuing Education)