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July 27, 2018

Our economy is evolving dramatically and quickly, as technology and entrepreneurship reshape the skills that are necessary to build a successful career. Gone are the days where people worked at the same company for their entire career. Right now, the average worker stays in a job for 4.6 years, or just 3.2 years for millennials. As a result, like many communities around the country, the ground is shifting underneath the feet of our residents, many of whom are struggling to keep up.

 

A number of studies show the independent or “gig” economy is a major force driving our economic growth over the past decade. In fact, many people here in Stockton make ends meet by working more than one job. Some Stocktonians work at traditional jobs and supplement their income through freelance work, while others freelance full time (or desire to.) Although independent work is growing, there aren’t many comprehensive programs to show you how to navigate this sector and maximize both your earning potential and the benefits inherent to this kind of work — such as better flexibility with regard to hours, schedules, and location, more time to care for children or a loved one, or more time to pursue hobbies or passions.

 

That’s exactly why last week, with the support of key local stakeholders, I released the Workforce Development Action Plan: The Need for Transformation. This week, my office is excited to partner with both industry and the non-profit sector on a model public-private partnership called the Digital Workforce Development Initiative.

 

The goal of this pilot program is to expand access to the growing independent economy, with a particular focus on women, underrepresented minorities, and low-income individuals. With many people increasingly making a living by working independently, we want to be sure that Stockton residents have the tools they need to succeed in this rapidly expanding sector of the economy.

 

Together with FiverrUdemy, and Samaschool, we’ve developed a program that gives people the real-world skills they need to build a career as a freelancer. Whether you have a passion you’re looking to turn into a business, you work at a job you’d prefer to pursue independently, or you’re already a freelancer but looking to tap into a broader, more global client base, DWDI can help you take your career to the next level and ensure you have support at every stage of the game. Sign up to join us us at Delta College this Saturday, July 28 to participate in our free “Freelancing 101” training and hear from a host of speakers, presenters, and experts in the field For those that cannot attend, feel free to learn more by visiting the DWDI website.

Mayor Michael Tubbs,