Bringing industry and community colleges together

The Center for a Competitive Workforce is an unprecedented data-driven research collaboration between business and education leaders in the Los Angeles Basin


The center’s mission is to support data-driven, industry-informed education and workforce programs and curricula across Los Angeles and Orange counties.


The Los Angeles Basin, which encompasses Los Angeles and Orange counties, has become a hub for emerging industries and new work models that have and will continue to fuel future job growth. While the region has the advantage of an integrated talent development network, new growing industries require higher levels of educational attainment and specialized skills.

Data-Driven Economic Reports

The Center for a Competitive Workforce produces ongoing regional economic outlook reports to better align labor market supply and demand data, support industry-driven career education and workforce development programs, and strengthen industry engagement across the L.A. basin.

Summary of Findings

The Center for a Competitive Workforce’s keystone report “L.A. & Orange County Community Colleges: Powering Economic Opportunity” was released in October 2017. The report identifies 20 occupations employed by six key industries with a competitive advantage in the Los Angeles Basin. Community colleges in the region offer degree and certificate programs related to these occupations.

If current trends continue, the Los Angeles Basin is likely to see a deficit in talent to fill the 67,450 projected job openings in the 20 target middle-skills occupations in the next five years.If this trend continues, community college supply will fall short of projected demand in these 20 occupations by 42 percent. However, the community colleges in the region are in a strong position to bridge this gap.


Regional community colleges serve 776,000 students


Including 523,000+ career education students


With 200+ career education programs


Across 28 community colleges


A soaring design career, all thanks to a love of theatre arts
  • SCHOOL: Citrus College, Class of 2012
  • PROGRAM: Emerging Theatre Technologies
  • JOB TITLE: Production Designer

J.C. Molina knows how to get a conversation started. As a production designer for films and video, he often incorporates thought provoking and emotionally stirring imagery into his work. One of his most notable collaborations is Beyoncé’s visual album “Lemonade,” which created national buzz in 2016. He has worked on numerous music videos, commercials and films, with artists such as Jay-Z, Zayn Malik, P!nk and the Rolling Stones. Molina grew up in San Jose, Calif., and first attended West Valley College in Northern California, where he was introduced to what would become his passion--technical theatre arts. He later moved to Los Angeles and attended Citrus College where he earned a certificate in emerging theatre technologies. He credits his instructors at Citrus for instilling the hands-on skills he needed to make it as a production designer. “Had I not had classes for rendering and AutoCAD, I wouldn’t know the basics of production design,” he said. “I see a lot of people come out of expensive film schools, and they don’t know how to build anything. A lot of them don’t know about color theory or lighting design. I think I paid a couple thousand dollars for my education.”