State Workforce Board awards $500K for Contra Costa program for equitable employment

Awards more than $40 million statewide for Resilient Workforce Program, invests in workforce opportunities that advance job quality and environmental resilience.

By Anna Champe, Communications Manager, CA Workforce Development Board

The California Workforce Development Board (CWDB), in partnership with the California Labor & Workforce Development Agency, recently awarded more than $41 million to 18 projects across the state to advance High Road Training Partnerships (HRTPs) that move underserved populations into better jobs. Today’s funding announcement is part of a larger, multi-level state investment to promote workforce development efforts that prioritize equity, quality jobs, and climate reliance while meeting regional labor market needs.

“HRTPs invest in industry-led, worker-informed efforts to deliver on the promise of a California for All,” said CWDB Executive Director Tim Rainey. “HRTP’s Resilient Workforce Program is part of California’s high road vision for the state’s workforce development system that focuses on the principles of job quality, worker voice, equity, and environmental sustainability.”

HRTPs are industry-based, worker-focused training partnerships that develop talent for California’s “high road” employers — firms that compete based on the quality of product and service achieved through innovation and investment in human capital and thus can generate family-supporting jobs where workers have agency and voice. The HRTP Resilient Workforce Program initiative will increase access to existing high-road jobs for underserved populations and create pathways for job growth for incumbents already employed with high-road employers.

Projects receiving funding include $500,000 to the Workforce Development Board of Contra Costa County for the East Bay Health Equity Initiative.

The East Bay Health Equity Initiative (EBHEI), which includes East Bay Workforce Boards and the Bay Area Health Workforce Partnership, received funding to replicate a successful Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) training program and other in-demand health careers. The project will focus efforts on local schools providing career training in a variety of health professions and includes additional resources to enhance financial, academic and career support.

Over the last two years, the Workforce Development Board of Contra Costa County’s (WDBCCC) has established a proven model by identifying existing training providers and then adding supplemental services and resources to make those programs more accessible and better meet the needs of low-income workers, immigrants/refugees, justice-involved, veterans and other priority groups.

The project is expected to begin implementation in Spring 2024. 

  • $5 million for Scaling Proven Allied Healthcare Adult Training Pathways– Jewish Vocational and Career Counseling Service will deliver established allied healthcare training programs in the Bay Area and work to scale them throughout the state using strategic partnerships with various healthcare institutions. 
  • $5 million for Public Pathways – the Aggie Square Community Partnership will connect underserved populations with career, education, training, and skills in high-road, high-demand career pathways, including public sector/business, healthcare, biotechnology, and community workers.
  • $5 million for HRTP- Behavioral Health Expansion (BHE) to expand substance use disorder career pathways in San Diego with the support of many diverse, invested local partners and five different education partners. 
  • $4.8 million for Golden State Pathway to Teaching and Leading – to create no-cost pathways for paraeducators and others to earn a teaching license. The Teachers College of Western Governors University will provide education, training, and in-classroom experiences.
  • $4.6 million for High Road to Microelectronics– for specific company-specific and worker-customized training and certificate programs at three community colleges in the Bay Area to bring workers into quality semiconductor careers.
  • $4.5 million for High Road to Correctional Health Professions – to support strategic partnership between Service Employees International Union Local 1000, California Correctional Health Care Services, and multiple community colleges to expand the LVN and RN apprenticeship program, launch an RN residency program, and provide training for correctional health workers.

A complete list of awardees can be found on CWDB’s website.

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