Listen. Learn. Implement. Repeat.

C2C Staff | March 7, 2024

The California Cradle-to-Career Data System (C2C) is on a mission to make a meaningful impact, and we’re centering users at the heart of everything we do.

Highlighting C2C’s Journey to Make a Meaningful Impact on California’s Education and Workforce Outcomes

By: C2C Staff, March 2024

The California Cradle-to-Career Data System (C2C) is on a mission to make a meaningful impact, and we’re centering users at the heart of everything we do. We’re doing this by listening to understand the needs of the communities we serve, and this year we’re meeting people where they are, launching a series of in-person community events. As we embark on our listening tour across California, our first stops in Sacramento and Oakland have underscored the importance of this principle.  

Local Perspectives in Sacramento

We kicked off our listening tour in the heart of California’s capital, Sacramento. Engaging with community members, local leaders and legislative staff, C2C delved into conversations surrounding the development of our planned dashboards, what companion materials we should consider when launching the dashboards, and how we should be socializing the tools once they are released. 

When it comes to the dashboards themselves, Sacramento’s residents expressed interest in disaggregating data geographically, possibly by district, to aid policymakers’ efforts in making data-driven decisions. Attendees shared specific use-cases of how they would use the dashboards to support their work—whether governmental, advocacy, or academia. There was a good balance between individuals who had specific questions and those who were curious in exploring the data.

To fully understand the data and questions made available through C2C’s data dashboards, comprehensive companion supports will be needed to facilitate and advance data literacy. We shared information on proposed supplemental products and collateral, and Sacramento residents highlighted the need for informational and short video clips focused on specific uses to train users on how to use the dashboards.

We also asked attendees how we can expand our  community outreach, and across the board, Sacramento attendees emphasized tapping into local community-based organizations (CBOs) that have direct access to the communities we aim to reach: students, parents, and other Californians that may not be aware of C2C’s initiatives. We also heard strong sentiment around leaning on already-trusted organizations serving English as second language populations, justice-impacted individuals, and local school districts and county offices of education (COEs). 

Bay Area: Grounding Actions Through an Equity Framework

We continued our listening tour with a stop in Oakland, to hear from locals about their unique needs, how they would use the data dashboards, the best practices for reaching local communities, and which CBOs C2C should partner with to maximize our reach. 

Bay Area community members mentioned the need to look up data by zip codes. We also heard a lot of interest in breaking down the data by demographics and educational factors, and heard an emphasis on targeted questions mostly motivated by their profession. For example, an individual said,

“I work at a county office of education, and we work directly with school districts who would be very interested in seeing their data visualized.” 

We discussed the types of users who may engage with the data system and heard that C2C’s current user persona categories were not fully inclusive of all types of users and may inadvertently turn potential users away if they did not see themselves in any of the three categories. We are grateful for this feedback and will iterate on our plans to better incorporate language that will feel inviting and encourage users to explore our tools.  

When asked about community outreach, Bay Area attendees emphasized meeting people where they are, connecting with local CBOs and other equity-based advocacy groups, school systems directly, and local education and workforce coalitions. We also heard suggestions of partnering with local sports franchises like the Golden State Warriors, San Francisco 49ers, SF Giants, and Oakland Roots Sports Club—all of which have major community impact and reach. 

Committed to Empowering Communities

As we continue our journey of empowering individuals to reach their full potential, one thing remains clear: if C2C is to build a data system that will empower the people of California, we must listen to them. Our statewide tour will continue to the Central Valley, San Joaquin Valley, and Southern California. With each step, C2C is committed to amplifying the voices of communities, understanding their unique challenges, and collaborating on solutions that will reflect their needs. We look forward to continuing to center the voices of communities to pave the way for meaningful change for all Californians.

Interested in partnering with C2C for future events? Reach out to our team: 

Opens in new window