Antioch mayor wants to spend $600-$625K to hire 20 apprentices in Public Works Dep’t for 10-month pilot program

Council to consider it during Tuesday meeting; third-party provider would be hired to run program

“Hire more police officers, now. Public safety before apprenticeship programs” – Mayor Pro Tem Barbanica

By Allen D. Payton

Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe is proposing a Mayor’s Apprenticeship Program to benefit 20 participants as part of the city’s Youth Services Network (YSN). The city council will receive a presentation on the program during their meeting Tuesday night and are being asked to provide direction to staff about it.  MAP ACC032222

According to the staff report by Tasha Johnson, YSN Manager, the program will be “a paid workforce development opportunity in the City of Antioch proposed for young adults ages 18-26. The pilot program will employ 20 participants who are underemployed, underserved and underestimated. The young adults selected may possess multiple barriers they are facing and may be justice involved, unhoused, former foster youth and more.”

“The fiscal impact is estimated to range from $600,000-$625,000 per year for a cohort of 20 participants,” the staff report reads.

Johnson’s staff report shares more about the program and its goals.

“Economically vulnerable populations are struggling to meet the basic needs of housing, food security and access to healthcare; consequently, there is an impact of violence affecting these communities. The City’s leadership is intent on offering strategies for addressing healthier outcomes for individuals, neighborhoods and the city. The youth and young adults in the City of Antioch, specifically in the Sycamore area, are being adversely affected by lack of skills and employment opportunity. They face numerous challenges and barriers that must be addressed as the City of Antioch strives to truly realize that opportunity lives here for all youth and young adults. Making available a comprehensive workforce development program not only addresses the needs and helps to prepare a local future workforce, but also builds economic stability for a better quality of life.”


Further according to the staff report, the goals of the program are to:

  • Develop a learning culture that encourages and supports training, continuing education, and professional development
  • Strengthen the orientation of young adults to career pathways
  • Generate marketable skills for the workforce
  • Provide an opportunity to be an active member of the community and become economically self-sufficient

The program elements consist of the following:

  • Workforce development training (traditional workshops and experiential learning)
  • Job placement in divisions throughout Public Works
  • Ongoing support services to address barriers

A third-party provider will be secured to deliver training, coaching support and programmatic evaluation.

In addition to secured part-time employment, the MAP will link needs and resources by:

1) identifying and providing referrals to local community-based organizations 2) connecting participants to higher education opportunities and career pathways 3) developing positive self-identity. Success of the MAP supports the City of Antioch’s talent pipeline.”

The tentative start date for the program is July 6, 2022 and is projected to end April 22, 2023.

Questions for Thorpe, Council, Youth Services Network Manager, Public Works Director

The following questions were emailed to Thorpe, the other four council members, Ms. Johnson and Public Works Director John Samuelson Monday afternoon:

Why do you need to hire a third-party provider instead of having the Youth Services Network Manager, who is already being paid by the city for youth services, fulfill the role?

How much of the $600-$625,000 budget will be paid to the third-party provider?  How much will remain to pay each of the apprentices, each month?

Since they will be assigned to the city’s Public Works Department, what work will the 20 participants be doing to earn their monthly compensation?

Will they be performing physical labor? If so, what kind and on what kind of projects? Will they be cleaning up graffiti and litter?

Have you thought of instead, providing $30,000 grants to 20 local businesses to each hire one apprentice, to give them private sector experience which will also help grow our local economy, and allow Ms. Johnson to provide the other program elements?”

No responses were received as of Monday, March 21, 2022 at 5:00 PM.

UPDATE: Barbanica Says “Public Safety Before Apprenticeship Programs”, Reveals Low APD Staffing Levels, Interim City Manager Wants to Wait for New, Interim Police Chief to Evaluate Need for More Officers

However, in a video posted on YouTube and his official Facebook page, Monday night, Barbanica wrote and said, “Hire more police officers, now. Public safety before apprenticeship programs.” He also revealed the low staffing levels in the police department and that the Interim City Manager Con Johnson wants to wait until the new, interim police chief is on board and has evaluated the need to determine how many more officers the city needs.

“I don’t know much about the program… But here is what did strike me. I have, personally, requested on the agenda, the hiring of more police officers and it’s yet to have made the agenda. I know other council members are interested in that, as well. Nothing,” the mayor pro tem said. “But we have this on the agenda and I’m not saying if it’s good or bad. But the safety of our community and the safety of our men and women who are out there every day patrolling our streets, that should be our number one, in all of our day-to-day. I get this. There are people who want an apprenticeship program. Fine. But let’s don’t put the men and women that are out there, every day doing this job, in jeopardy by not having enough staffing.”

“Our recent staffing levels…we are allotted 115 officers…and we can go over, hire over by six. That’s not funded, but we can go over by six. Right now, we’re running about 102. That is less than one officer for every thousand people in this community,” he continued. “I am also told, and I have been told this for months and months, that people are leaving the Antioch Police Department. We stand to lose another four to six more officers in the next four to six months.”

“And get this, right now, we’re having people, and we have been for awhile pull out of the hiring process,” Barbanica exclaimed. “Why? When do you ever see that occur? In my years of law enforcement, we didn’t see it that often. People were standing in line to do the job and to get hired. Now, we’re seeing people pull out and go other places. Why is that happening? We need to be supporting the Antioch Police Department and the staffing levels. We need this on the agenda.”

“This is fine,” he added while holding up a copy of the agenda item on the apprenticeship program. “If the mayor wants this to be on the agenda, fine. But put staffing levels also on the agenda. We need to get up from that 102 to that 115, and beyond. This is huge. This is the safety of our community. I have asked for that to be on the agenda and it hasn’t.”

“The funny thing was, a couple weeks ago I got a call from the interim city manager, and I was talking to him about staffing levels, and he told me he was interested in talking to me about that,” Barbanica stated. “But what he did tell me, was that he was going to wait until the new interim police chief comes in, and that interim police chief can evaluate if we need more personnel.”

“We’re less than one officer per every thousand,” the mayor pro tem reiterated. “We need more police officers. There’s no doubt. Funny thing is we pay a lot of money, here and people are going elsewhere. Why?”

“And why are we waiting for an interim police chief who has never worked in this community, may be a very qualified individual. I don’t know. I’ve yet to meet the man because when he was brought on, I wasn’t told anything about him coming on,” Barbanica continued. “However, we have an interim police chief, now that has more than 20 years’ experience in this community. That chief is able to make a decision and tell our city manager and our city council what we need.”

“Let’s stop playing politics with this. This is the safety of our community and the safety of the men and women that are out there every day protecting this community and all of us need to be backing them,” he concluded.

Viewing and Public Comments

City Council meetings are televised live on Comcast channel 24, AT&T U-verse channel 99, or live stream at City Council Meeting LIVE – City of Antioch, California (

The public has the opportunity to address the City Council on each agenda item. No one may speak more than once on an agenda item or during “Public Comments”.

Members of the public wishing to provide public comments, may do so in one of the following ways (#2 pertains to the Zoom Webinar Platform):

  1. IN PERSON Fill out a Speaker Request Form, available near the entrance doors, and place in the Speaker Card Tray near the City Clerk before the City Council Meeting begins.
  2. VIRTUAL To provide oral public comments during the meeting, please click the following link to register in advance to access the meeting via Zoom Webinar:

You will be asked to enter an email address and a name. Your email address will not be disclosed to the public. After registering, you will receive an email with instructions on how to connect to the meeting.

When the Mayor announces public comments, click the “raise hand” feature in Zoom. For instructions on using the “raise hand” feature in Zoom, visit: When calling into the meeting using the Zoom Webinar telephone number, press *9 on your telephone keypad to raise

your hand. Please ensure your Zoom client is updated so staff can enable your microphone when it is your turn to speak.

Speakers will be notified shortly before they are called to speak. When you are called to speak, please limit your comments to the time allotted (350 words, up to 3 minutes, at the discretion of the Mayor).

The City cannot guarantee that its network and/or the site will be uninterrupted.

  1. WRITTEN PUBLIC COMMENT If you wish to provide a written public comment, you may do so in one of the following ways by 3:00 p.m. the day of the City Council Meeting:

(1) Fill out an online speaker card, located at,

Or (2) Email the City Clerk’s Department at

Please note: Written public comments received by 3:00 p.m. the day of the City Council Meeting will be shared with the City Council before the meeting, entered into the public record, retained on file by the City Clerk s Office, and available to the public upon request. Written public comments will not be read during the City Council Meeting.

Please check back later for any updates to this report.


the attachments to this post:

MAP ACC032222

Apprenticeship Programs sign City logo & Lamar

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