With over 3 million people, Orange County is the third most populous county in California and the sixth most populous in the nation. Fueling the regional economy are the businesses that employ over 1.5 million workers — a number that is expected to reach 1.8 million by 2026.

With multiple world-renowned educational institutions and universities, and four community college districts that encompass nine campuses, Orange County has the resources to prepare a next-generation workforce. That workforce will be critical to secure our region’s position as a world-leading hub for cutting-edge industry, entrepreneurship, and innovation.

Serving 34 cities and multiple large unincorporated areas in Orange County, OWA collaborates with partners to build on the region’s strengths, address challenges, and expand opportunities for community members and

businesses that fuel economic vitality.

OWA leads the region’s vision for a future-ready workforce that is better skilled, trained, and prepared to keep industries competitive, communities thriving, and the economy growing. Identifying industries with the largest financial impact on the region, OWA works with industries and partners to develop and deploy innovative strategies and solutions that meet current and emerging labor gaps for these employers.

By building a pipeline of qualified workers for the region’s growing and emerging industry sectors, we’re working to build a stronger Orange County for all

View The Regional Plan

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View the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy Report



The OWA works across industries, agencies, and communities to encourage engagement from all stakeholder groups, create inclusive and equitable economic plans, build capacity, break down silos to maximize the effectiveness of planning and implementation projects, and generate systemic changes to advance economic resilience.

Building Partnerships

Building Partnerships

OWA coordinates and collaborates with regionwide allies representing key industry sectors, business leaders, educational partners, labor unions, chambers of commerce, and community-based organizations. Working together to identify shared priorities and challenges, OWA and partners ensure strategies and services

remain relevant and aligned with the needs of the communities we serve.

Targeted Training

Targeted Training

As labor needs rapidly evolve, OWA and partners focus on building the targeted, relevant, and customized educational, training, and skills development programs that address the specific labor demands of the region’s growing industry sectors and employers, as well as diverse communities.

Regional Labor Market Data

Regional Labor Market Data

OWA shares region-wide labor market information in real time for businesses, individuals, and organizations to access at no cost — from one centralized source. Data includes industry growth and economic trends, high-demand occupations, employment projections, average wage earnings, and more.

Streamlined Efficiencies

Streamlined Efficiencies

Combining deep experience in workforce and economic development, OWA coordinates services and activities to expand capacity, maximize efficiencies, streamline delivery, and ensure a consistently positive experience for businesses, job seekers, and partners across our region.

Job Seeker Services

Job Seeker Services

The right career path has the potential to transform lives. OWA combines the services and resources of jobs centers located across the region, to help individuals overcome employment barriers and enter into life-changing career pathways that lead to self-sufficiency and long-term financial stability.

Youth Services

Youth Services

Preparing the next generation of skilled, qualified, and ready-to-work talent will be critical to the region’s continued growth. OWC develops strategies focused on connecting young people to the education, training, work experience, and support services they need to reach their full potential and live their best future.

Business Support

Business Support

Businesses are the lifeblood of the region’s economy. OWA extends the resources and expertise of business service teams to help companies operate more efficiently, effectively, and profitability. From recruitment support, to customized training, to tax incentives, to layoff avoidance strategies — OWA business experts work to save employers money and time.



To achieve its mission for an economically vital region, OWA focuses strategies and solutions on building a better workforce to meet the demands of these four key industry sectors: Manufacturing, Healthcare, Information Computer Technology, and Retail, Hospitality & Tourism.


Contributing $15.5 billion in GRP, representing 9% of the County’s total GRP, the healthcare industry sector is expended to experience an 18.2% growth by 2030. This growth is fueled by the region’s aging population.

With expanding demand for healthcare workers in ambulatory care, hospitals, skilled nursing and residential facilities, the healthcare sector is a key driver for our region’s economic growth and is resilient to recession.

Through partnerships, OWA is identifying solutions to meet the growing demand for skilled healthcare workers with training that leads to well-paying careers with room for growth.

Information Computer Technology/Digital Media

More than 54,000 people are employed in the information technology and digital media industry across the County, with an average annual salary of $132,987. With $16.1 billion in GRP representing 11% of the County’s total GRP, this industry sector has a significant economic impact on the region, as well as on other industry sectors.

As our lives, work, and world become increasingly digital, demand for professionals with specific skillsets will be vital to our regional competitiveness. OWA is focused on training the talent to drive innovation and secure the region’s position as a technology hub.

Retail Hospitality and Tourism

Each year, Orange County welcomes over 50 million visitors who spend around $413 billion. As a major destination, the regional economy relies on the hotels, restaurants, entertainment venues, cultural attractions, sports parks, amusement parks, food establishments, retail stores, and other venues these visitors frequent.

Combined, this vital industry sector creates around 369,332 jobs and contributes $26.2 billion to GRP. With a very diverse workforce, this sector employs many workers at low wages. OWA is working to identify and implement strategies that lift people up from lower paying jobs while ensuring that this sector continues to be a powerful economic engine for the region.


The manufacturing sector contributes a total Gross Regional Product (GRP) of $23.8 billion — around 10% of Orange County’s total GRP.

While experiencing high growth in multiple sub-sectors including manufacturing for medical equipment and supplies, semiconductors, electronic components, aerospace, and parts, the region’s manufacturing industry also faces significant challenges. These include an aging workforce, a shift to new skills driven by automation, and increased global competition.