By Lucie-Anne Radimsky, CSPO
It’s an exciting time to be in Sacramento—especially if you’re looking at it from the perspective of our sports franchises. From the King’s most successful season in over 10 years to a potential Major League Soccer bid and subsequent arena built in the Railyards—the sky is the limit and our local economy benefits from this success.
Beyond making headlines in the sports pages, nothing screams vibrant economy like a strong workforce and a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem.
KAI Partners takes our community engagement role seriously. Our leadership not only makes community engagement possible—they make it a priority. Community engagement is fundamental to our values, and it is what helps us continue to thrive as an organization.
KAI Partners recently had the opportunity to participate in two events focused on community engagement through workforce development and entrepreneurship.
The first event, sponsored by Valley Vision, was the Information Communication Technology (ICT) Advisory Committee meeting. This event brought together educators and employers to continue to push forward important work around developing the ICT Workforce and relevant pathways.
A strong turnout by educators allowed for interesting discussions around curriculum and its relevance to various industries’ skill demands. In the future, I hope more employers attend events like these. Employers are one of the most important stakeholders in this ongoing conversation and after the ICT meeting, one thing was clear:
More exchange is needed between educators and employers.
An exercise we performed within our breakout group highlighted this disconnect between employers and academics. We were given two job descriptions and were asked to give feedback on the skills—both technical and soft skills—needed to perform these jobs. We found that the technical requirements that employers associated with specific degrees did not match the actual skills acquired through that academic program and were outdated. This highlighted another reason why all stakeholders must work in tandem to ensure perception matches reality.
Next up on KAI Partners’ agenda was Pitch Week, sponsored by Sacramento State’s Carlsen Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The day-long event included two afternoon sessions of startup pitches sponsored by StartupSac and Future Four & More (an annual regional Business Concept Competition for northern California community college and California State University students, hosted by one of the participating schools in the region).
According to Katherine Cota, the Executive Director at the Carlsen Center, “The purpose of this event is to develop business startups, boost economic development, encourage entrepreneurial thinking, connect students to angel investors and venture capitalists, and provide them with a wider, regional network of students, mentors, and professionals.”
From a plant-based prepared meal service exclusively for kids, to a blockchain solution to reduce efficiencies for real estate land registries, it was gratifying to see entrepreneurs of every age and creed participate.
The future looks bright and KAI Partners looks forward to continuing to support the innovation ecosystem.
We will continue to partner with academia, non-profits and public servants alike to ensure our region becomes stronger, more innovative, and more resilient. KAI Partners is always looking to meet new people, support organizations, and help cultivate solutions—especially solutions around public sector innovation.
We’d love to get to know you better—drop us a line in the comments below, or stop by our coworking and collaboration space, The WorkShop Sacramento.
About the Author: Lucie-Anne has over 15 years’ experience in communications and business development in the U.S. and Europe, on behalf of start-ups and non-profits. She has represented clients within the technology, energy, and telecommunications sectors to government agencies, press, and industry analysts throughout the world. Lucie-Anne has both American and E.U. citizenship. She is fluent in English and French. Lucie-Anne is an active community volunteer and has served on numerous non-profit boards and led alumni groups in Paris, Washington D.C., and San Francisco. She holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Irvine. She currently resides in Sacramento with her Brazilian husband and two boys.