As purposeful leaders, we collaborate to cultivate OC into a premier, inclusive, innovation talent hub

The key to building vibrant communities lies in cross-sector collaboration that creates new opportunities and solves persistent challenges. We convene the right people, the right business practices and the right resources to help make that happen.


Our priorities for Orange County are:

A better jobs strategy for the county
Growth in innovation jobs that have a 5 to 1 multiplier
Growth in the talent to fill those jobs
Cultivate a workforce of diverse viewpoints and skillsets
Lessen social problems through this better jobs strategy

Our unique flywheel approach

We face important challenges in creating and sustaining jobs that enable people to live a quality life in an expensive region like Orange County while improving their health, longevity and overall well-being. In addition, better jobs can help address social problems.

A strategy was needed with a ripple effect and a focus on innovation. Each innovation job can generate five additional jobs. Moreover, an innovation economy can attract dollars from around the country and the world.

CLA-OC represents diverse business sectors with guidance from talented leadership who are passionate about our community. We seek to be a catalyst and collaborator to move the county forward around a common vision.

Our four-part strategy is designed to create a multiplier effect as a flywheel that spins and builds momentum.  Those workstreams reinforce each other as key leverage points to build compounding impact over time.


Impact in Orange County

Vision: A business-led system of 21st century K-14 career pathways that align with education and nonprofit innovation, leading to jobs and a quality future for all students in OC.  Remove hunger as a barrier to learning.

2021 Goals
  1. Grow the Talent Leadership Advisory Board to 40 members; hold inaugural Education/ Business Summit.
  2. Pilot three early talent models:
    • Work Based Learning Pilot: Career Exploration Experiences (CEE), including mentorships and internships in healthcare, business, tech, and finance, for 200 underserved students
    • Talent Bridge Model: In data analytics with Alteryx for 20 community college students and cybersecurity with CISO SHARE for 20 high school students
    • Modern Youth Apprenticeship Programaround data analytics and cybersecurity: Design & pilot first-in-OC for 20 students
  3. Explore strategies to work with CLA-member companies to advocate for a systemic focus on AI knowledge, skills and abilities in K-12 and CC.
2020-2021 Achievements
  • Raised $200K from community then developed and launched work-based learning (WBL) pilot to create innovative and systematic approaches to career exploration experiences.
  • CHOC, UCI, and PIMCO engaged in the WBL Pilot with Tustin Unified, Anaheim Union High School District, and the Samueli Academy to provide 200+ high school students career exploration experiences.
  • Formed a Talent Leadership Advisory Board (T-LAB) made up of the top academic leaders in our county, inclusive of university leaders and community college presidents. Created T-LAB Talent Pipeline Metrics.
  • Started design of Data Analytics Talent Bridge pilot with Alteryx and North Orange County Community College District and Coast Community College District to connect 40 students from Business, Information and Communications Technologies, and Computer Science community college career pathway certificate programs directly into Alteryx.
  • Started design of Cybersecurity Talent Bridge pilot with CISOShare and Coastline ROP to provide training and internship opportunities to 20 high school students.
  • The Mobile Food service program with the Centralia Elementary School District launched in March 2020. The district has been able to adapt and supply meals during COVID-19 closures. They served 6,194 summer meals and are serving Weekend Grocery Kits every Friday throughout 2021 via the food truck.
  • Convened the three major food banks in the county, who united their efforts toward a shared purpose and resulted in the creation of the OC Hunger Alliance.

Vision: A vibrant OC business community that attracts, develops, and retains talent, meeting the dynamic and evolving needs of individuals and business.

2021 Goals
  1. Create an employment dashboard for 25 member companies on local hiring and talent retention
  2. Facilitate connection between OC universities and OC-based employers:
    • Assist 5 employers having limited involvement with universities to engage freshman and sophomores through project experiences, mentoring, or informational sessions, focused on women and diverse candidates
    • Explore needs between universities and employers to increase hiring and retention of masters and doctoral students, focused on women and diverse candidates in STEM fields. Develop a strategy for 2022
  3. Design and launch Year 2 of the Orange Fellowship Program (founding class of 24 fellows) and recruit the second class of 30 fellows
2020-2021 Achievements
  • Developed the Levels of Retention strategy to focus on growing and nurturing local talent and began tracking the data that will show how we are improving retention and talent development. Recruited 26 companies to participate.
  • Talent Leadership Call on August 31, 2020 energized key education and business stakeholders to launch the Talent Levels of Retention.
  • Five working groups were formed to lead several initiatives to meet the objectives of the Levels of Retention.
  • Orange Fellowship – Created and formally launched the first cohort of 24 young professionals. Orange Fellowship provides leadership development for outstanding young professionals in Orange County.
  • In partnership with Chapman University, piloted virtual Employer Information sessions with seven member companies during the fall semester. A total of 284 university and high school students participated in the live events, and over 300 more engaged with the post-event recordings.
  • Designed, organized, and released the University Reference Guide, a long-term solution for interface between companies and three OC universities: Chapman, CSUF, and UCI.

Vision: A distinct regional identity that celebrates OC’s inclusive and opportunity-rich communities, engaging relevant stakeholders to attract and retain innovative talent and enterprises.

2021 Goals
  1. Increase social media and EnvisionOC.org traffic by 300% to boost brand awareness
  2. Implement AI SoCal SuperHub branding through thought leadership and collaborations
  3. Attract new enterprises and expand the employee presence in OC of major global Big Tech companies.
2020-2021 Achievements
  • Rebranded EnvisionOC (URL, logo, style, messaging), a campaign designed to reinforce OC’s key competitive attributes, targeting individuals building their careers and enterprises building their workforce.
  • Launched v2.0 (June 2020) of EnvisionOC.org with improved links, an employer career board, innovative-company video shorts, new Lifestyle section, and new Stories section
  • Began bi-monthly e-newsletter
  • Created an interactive map showcasing OC as a collection of 34 cities (or choices) to grow a business or family.
  • Launched social media (LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook) and opt-in email with click metrics

Vision: A top-tier innovation economy with connected deep talent pools, mentors/ advisors and world-class support services, fueled by abundant local capital

2021 Goals
  1. Expand SC Master Fund to reach $60M of AUM
  2. Create Operate Start to fund and support very early-stage AI and emerging technology startups, with a focus on diverse and underrepresented founders
  3. In partnership with the community, develop strategic plan to make OC a leading AI SuperHub by 2030
  4. Develop and kickoff operating plan for AI Center of Excellence as the attracting force of the SoCal AI SuperHub
2020-2021 Achievements
  • Created an SC Master Fund with goal of $500M in 3-5 raises
  • SC Master Fund Board, Investment Committee, and second GP staffed and operating.
  • Closed on $34M ($28M at MF and $6M direct).
  • Have commitments for additional $12M.
  • 2 VC’s in portfolio, additional 15 in evaluations
  • Produced extensive analysis and report of the state of innovation, investment and related jobs – posted on EnvisionOC website.
  • Sponsored additional Innovation Index with Chapman and UCI comparing OC with 22 other regions. Established innovation ranking and benchmark to be updated annually.