Snapshot of California’s Youth and Public Sector Workforce

Snapshot of California’s Youth and Public Sector Workforce


Why should local governments connect with young people?

Empowering youth to participate in local government decision-making and generating interest in public sector careers is critical to sustain local government in the future. 

According to the Children Now Score Card

  • California is a diverse state where 1 in 3 persons are young people. 
  • 4.9 million Californians are 18-25 years old. 

California local government and public sector workforce is rapidly changing. Per the 2019 Sacramento Region Innovative Pathways to Public Service, Workforce Needs Assessment Report

  • 24% of employees in the public sector are eligible to retire in the next decade
  • 10% of California’s public sector jobs are in local government

What programs and opportunities should local governments consider?

Rural, suburban and urban communities have unique staffing needs. This toolkit is a resource for local government policy-makers and staff to better understand how to connect with the next generation of employees, leaders and change agents. The toolkit includes recommendations, best practices and examples of local governments working with young people to promote authentic youth civic engagement in municipal services, local decision-making, civics education, and workforce development programs that advance equity. Empower Youth can help guide local agencies in successful engagement initiatives with, to, for and by youth.

How can local governments engage and connect with young people?

How and what we communicate with the next generation impacts their perception of local government. By learning about the priorities and interests of young people, local agencies can refine their communication strategies, messages and outreach tactics to tap into this pool of talent and help them build stronger connections to and interest in local government careers and civic life.