Workforce Development Professional

Program Overview

Workforce Development Professional
Certificate and Apprenticeship Programs


Jobs! Workforce development professionals are the people who get Californians back to work.

California has the largest workforce development system in the country. Workforce development professionals - in private, nonprofit and public sectors - work in increasingly complicated environments and many share a common concern: their industry has lacked a professional credential and standardized training. 

Workforce development professionals can now earn the industry’s first professional certificate or augment their education with an on-the-job apprenticeship through the following programs:

The College of Continuing Education (CCE) worked with partners in government, workforce development, labor and education to establish a standard and “industry-recognized credentials,” confirms the California Workforce Association.  

“A certificate or certified training not only validates a common set of learning outcomes, it communicates a message of professional standards to clients and employers,” adds Jenni Murphy, CCE’s associate dean, who worked closely with our community partners on this project.


The certificate and apprenticeship programs broaden the role of workforce development professionals. 

Participants will learn a depth of skills to advance their careers. How to:

  • recognize the context and impact of workforce legislation
  • identify changes and trends in regional and local economies
  • effectively communicate to achieve greater results
  • make decisions to meet business objectives
  • lead a high-performing team and be a positive participant
  • manage the dynamics of organizational change
  • network and build relationships with businesses and other community partners
  • provide customer-centered career coaching and business services

The California Workforce Association spelled out the benefits:

Benefit to Employees - Certificate, advancement, and increase in wages and marketability upon completion

Benefit to Employer – Trained workforce (including the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act), improved customer service, higher quality/productivity, improved employee relations

Benefit to the California Workforce Development System – high quality standards for workforce development professionals, consistent and ongoing training for employees and America’s Job Centers of California partners, improved customer service

“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.” – Megan Bailey – graduate


  • Workforce development professionals pursuing management and leadership positions in the industry
  • Individuals who are currently working in the field but have had no formal training
  • Individuals interested in careers in workforce development and want access to formal training

Participants may register as part of an employer-sponsored group for the entire program, or on a course-by-course basis through open enrollment. Open enrollment is on a space available basis.

“The Workforce Development Professional Apprenticeship Program has empowered me to succeed in the field of workforce development in ways unforeseen prior to starting the program.” – Matt Hidalgo – graduate


Participants in the Workforce Development Professional Certificate Program complete 132 hours of classroom instruction and 12 hours outside of class to prepare a capstone presentation. The certificate program lasts nine months.

Participants in the Workforce Development Professional Apprenticeship Program complete the certificate program, which is the educational component of the apprenticeship. The hands-on experience requires 2,080 hours of on-the-job training and runs about 18 months.

Please read on for more details!