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Skills in Silicon Valley: Filling the Gap

According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, by 2020, the United States and Silicon Valley are projecting labor shortages across all skill levels. On October 23, the NOVA Director, Kris Stadelman, was invited to participate in the "Skills in Silicon Valley: Filling the Gap" forum, hosted by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. The purpose of the event was to release a recent report produced by the American Action Forum on national immigration and the workforce titled, "How Changes in Immigration Can Impact Future Worker Shortages in the United States and Silicon Valley." Ms. Stadelman presented as part of a panel that included: Jon Funabiki of San Francisco State University (moderator), Doug Holtz-Eakin of American Action Forum, Derrick Seaver of the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce and Lionel de Maine of Sequoia District Adult Education. Silicon Valley is already attracting high skill workers; however, the challenge is filling gaps in low and middle skill occupations. The discussion focused on developing a pipeline of workers that represent untapped talent, including the long-term unemployed and immigrant workers, to fill the skills gap, locally. The presentations were very well received from a large audience representing the regional office of the U.S. Department of Labor, local workforce board members, business, community organizations and immigration advocates. Overall, the event was informative and thought provoking.