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 apprenticeship program at Sacramento State. These apprentices don’t work in the industrial trades, like most apprentices, but in workforce development. They’ve learned new skills to put Californians back to work. 

Mayor-elect Darrell Steinberg spoke at the Workforce Development Professional Apprenticeship Program graduation and said graduates, like Megan Bailey, have an important role to play in the city’s growth.   

Bailey was training to be a graphic artist more than a decade ago, at a time when the labor market was drying up. She decided to take her career in a new direction and became a job coach. 

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

Bailey has been a workforce development professional at the Sacramento Employment and Training (SETA) for nine years and has helped hundreds of individuals, including homeless men and women, receive services and training to enter the job market. Now, she was the one getting the job training. 

The Workforce Development Professional Apprenticeship Program is Sacramento State’s first apprenticeship program. It not only changed the direction of Bailey’s career but captured the new mayor’s attention.

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

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

SETA sent some of its most promising job coaches through the apprenticeship, a first-of-its kind program that combined courses in leadership, management, customer service and business development at the College of Continuing Education, with more than 2,000 hours of on-the-job training.

“I feel I have the capacity of being a workforce leader,” Bailey said, at the end of the apprenticeship. 

Steinberg praised the graduates for directing “industries and jobs to young people in our community,” especially in struggling areas such as Del Paso Heights and South Sacramento. “Your work is so important,” he said, and applauded their efforts in mapping out the educational and career pathways of students, starting as young as 14.

Steinberg also liked the way the apprenticeship program worked, in paying the workforce development professionals while they earned an industry-valued certificate. And now, they were getting a promotion at SETA and a 5-percent raise, what he called “connecting the dots.” Steinberg added: ”I love this, 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.)

Bailey had something extra to celebrate. She and two other apprentices, Brandon Anderson and Matt Hidalgo, were headed to new jobs. The California Workforce Association hired them as program managers to work on statewide workforce development initiatives.

“This was an amazing day,” Bailey said. “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.”

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)