Training Dollars at Work
As California’s economy continues to evolve, the needs of employers are evolving as well – often requiring job seekers to obtain new skills and experiences to qualify for in-demand jobs. To help fill this need, the EDD provides funding to local partners to engage with employers, identify the job and skill demands, and develop training programs and support services to connect job seekers with employers.
Here are some good examples of those training and development dollars at work in local areas of the state.
As a region with high demand for automotive technology, the Fresno Regional Workforce Development Board was awarded $200,000 in grant funds under the Alternative Renewable Fuels and Vehicle Technology Program. With these funds, the Mass Transit Fleet Conversion Servicing and Maintenance Career Pathways Program was developed to build a talent pipeline. It consists of integrated standard-based academics and career-relevant curriculum to enhance student learning with hands-on instruction and internships.
Quincy King is among one of 50 students the program serves in Fresno County. During the course of this grant, Quincy completed his high school diploma at Clovis High School and work experience hours at Future Ford as a shop helper. Having been exposed to new facets of auto technology and with stellar performance, Quincy was offered full-time employment at Future Ford. Today, Quincy continues to pursue certifications to continue growing on the job.
“My experience has taught me everything that I know about automotive technology. The program actually made it possible for me to get a job where I do what I love. My bosses are amazing and understanding about everything that is going on and so are my coworkers at Future Ford. They have all made me feel like I am now a part of a big family while I'm at work,” says Quincy.
Los Angeles, CA
The demand for qualified, professional administrative personnel is high in Los Angeles County. In order to meet this demand, the EDD and South Bay Workforce Development Board joined forces to provide paid work experience and on-the-job training to individuals receiving public aid under the Transitional Subsidized Employment (TSE) Program. The TSE Program goal is to provide greater independence to families through sustainable employment while investing in the workforce to fill high demand jobs.
From July 2014 to June 2015, 971 individuals throughout Los Angeles County entered employment following their paid work experience assignment. Of these participants, 589 also received assistance through their local America’s Job Center of California.
One such participant was Shameka Moten, who enrolled in the TSE Program through the Inglewood One-Stop Business & Career Center, proud partner of America’s Job Center of California. Staff placed her at the Inglewood Airport Area Chamber of Commerce (IAACC). The TSE Program helped pay for her training and provided career guidance, which not only helped her but also the employer through subsidized training. Since then, Shameka has promoted to Bookkeeper/Office Manager. “Shameka has been promoted because she continues to excel on the job and has been a great example of the program’s objective,” says Erick Holly, Director of IAACC.
Los Angeles, CA
Grant funds aimed at helping people laid off were also used after job losses at Mattel, Inc. where a total of 107 employees were affected. With these funds, the Inglewood One-Stop Business and Career Center, proud partner of America’s Job Center of California, was able to immediately assist and place 101 participants in jobs within growing job industries with sustainable pay and benefits.
Deidre Gustavson was one of those affected workers. Designated career services helped Deidre increase her marketability and assisted her with entering training at the UCLA Extension. There she obtained a certificate in Sustainability. This certification combines academics and real‑life application of renewable‑energy and sustainability practices. With her additional training and certification, Deidre secured employment as a Cost Engineer with Hasbro Inc., earning $60 per hour, a sector identified by the South Bay Workforce Investment Board as one of the region’s growing industries and targeted for focused workforce development.
“I am very happy with all the services and training that I received from the Inglewood
One-Stop’s staff,” says Deidre.
Since the California Clean Energy Jobs Act took effect in 2013, the Employment Development Department (EDD) and the California Workforce Development Board (State Board) have come together to implement and support energy efficiency job training and placement programs. Between February 2014 and March 2016, the EDD and State Board awarded $4.3 million in California Clean Energy Jobs Act funding to local workforce partners across the state for apprenticeships and “earn-and-learn” programs that train job seekers for clean energy jobs.
One successful example of this is the RichmondBUILD Solar One Project, led by the Richmond Workforce Development Board. RichmondBUILD addresses local issues such as unemployment and skills gaps, and invests in preparing young adults for jobs that align with California’s green and clean economy. Subsequently, the City of Richmond developed initiatives like the Local Hire Ordinance and First Source Agreement which create employment opportunities for those like RichmondBUILD graduates.
“I’m very grateful for the experience, skill set and foundation RichmondBUILD gave me. They prepared me for life in the trades and now I am a proud union member of Local 16 Heat & Frost Insulators,” says Yesenia Pineda, a RichmondBUILD graduate. Other graduates have entered employment with large companies including BBI Construction, Cherne Construction, Coast Builders, Brand Scaffold, and Swinerton Builders.
Construction is a growing and in-demand industry in the Richmond area. So the RichmondWORKS America’s Job Center of CaliforniaSM targets their annual Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act funding toward meeting this need, connecting small businesses with job-seeking Richmond residents. In this case, RichmondWORKS partnered with Laner Electric Supply Company, Inc to develop an on-the-job training program targeting job seekers with barriers to employment and/or lacking skills.
Sandra Escalante, CEO and Owner of Laner Electric Supply Company, says “With the help and support of the RichmondWORKS team, the process is really streamlined. I would recommend the program to other companies because it gives Richmond residents the opportunity to work and have a career. I’m a Richmond business owner and I try to hire within Richmond. I want Richmond to succeed and want our image in the nation to be a progressive city.” In addition to having her own business, Sandra has also received recognition for “Top 25 Minority-Owned Company” and “Top 100 Women-Owned Company” only one year after taking over the company.
Pictured to the left are two participants who were hired with limited experience and who continue to work at Laner Electric today. Both are looking to expand their careers in the construction and electrical industry thanks to the on-the-job training received; a win-win outcome for the City of Richmond because it’s boosting economic growth for the individual and the community.
Another successful example of the EDD and the State Board’s training dollars at work is Project STRIPE, a pre-apprenticeship certificate program at American River College. Through this California Clean Energy Jobs Act funded pre-apprenticeship, students learn basic construction skills, are introduced to various career pathways in the building trades, and receive certifications in many industrial processses.
One of those students is Courtney Montgomery, who first heard about the program through her friend while in transition between careers. Seeing the success of her friend, she went to the Sacramento Employment and Training Agency (SETA) for more information. Upon applying for the program, Courtney was selected to participate in the National Women’s Pre-Apprenticeship Boot Camp with 20 other women to learn the trade. “The Prop 39 Grant helped me the whole way through training with support and different job leads. I could not have gotten through school without SETA’s support to get to where I am now. It was a struggle going to school and boot camp without being able to work. The Prop 39 Grant helped me keep a place to live and get to and from training,” says Courtney.
With new skills under her belt, Courtney is now a first period Union Ironworker Apprentice earning $17.38 per hour, plus benefits package. After she completes the Ironworkers Apprenticeship, she will advance to the journeyman level with higher pay.
San Diego, CA
With hospitality being in the top five industries for San Diego, the demand for cooks is high but there’s not enough cooks to hire. To help meet this demand, the San Diego Workforce Partnership and the regional workforce development board created Project Launch with Kitchens for Good with the help of Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act training funds.
“Kitchens for Good” is a customized training program that prepares job seekers with significant barriers to employment to transition into jobs, while at the same time, increasing the pool of skilled chefs for employers to recruit. The program lasts 13 weeks and includes an internship at a local San Diego restaurant. Since the start of the program, 22 participants have entered jobs. One of those participants is Jimmie Grove. With new skills and mentors, Jimmy started his new job at Catalina Offshore before even graduating from the program by recommendation of another guest chef.
“We are proud to be involved with Kitchens for Good. Having graduates from Kitchens for Good, or referring them to our restaurant partners, we see firsthand how hard they work and how dedicated they are,” says Rebecca Gardon, Marketing Manager of Catalina Offshore.
San Francisco, CA
The Bay Area’s rapidly evolving technology sector can often lead to layoffs while new enterprises seek new out new talents. In early 2016, the EDD provided local workforce partners supplemental funding to support initiatives for employment and training in the Information Technology sector. One such initiative is the TechSF Bay Area Video Coalition under the Information and Communication Technology Agile Response Program.
The TechSF Bay Area Video Coalition assisted 470 people, who had lost their jobs in the technology sector, by providing them with employment and training services in computer hardware and software, networking, graphic design, multimedia, and animation. One dislocated worker who benefitted from this initiative is Ayçin Caki. Ayçin received services to help expand her professional portfolio and compete in the competitive industry of multimedia art and animation. Additionally, she attended career readiness workshops, which improved her job searching skills and assisted her in securing employment as a UX/UI Designer at Volunteer Match.
San Francisco, CA
Gary Ting is also one of the 470 assisted participants who was laid off in the Bay Area. Prior to losing his job, Gary was a marketing manager who wanted to break into the very competitive field of UX Design. Through the TechSF Bay Area Video Coalition, Gary expanded his skills by working on visual design projects, completing a certification in UX/UI Design, and was able to build a professional portfolio to better market his skills. Through his own networking and connections established with TechSF, Gary landed a job at Google as a Visual/UX Designer.
San Mateo, CA
The Trades Introduction Program (TIP) is an initiative in the Bay Area that puts people to work through on-the-job training. The program provides construction pre-apprenticeship training with nationally recognized Multi Core Craft curriculum for trainees. Since the program’s inception in June 2014, 107 students have graduated and another estimated 26 students are expected to graduate by December 2016. Upon completion, graduates have career options such as plumbers, engineers, carpenters, or electricians.
“The TIP certificate was my golden ticket. My foreman values me as an apprentice because I can read blueprints, I know geometry and the tools we work with every day,” says Albert Leanilo, one of 60 students who recently graduated and entered employment. He’s now completing his second year as a member of Sheet Metal Workers Local 104. As a union member, Albert has a steady career with good pay, benefits, and health insurance coverage for him and his family.
In Sunnyvale, the demands of a technology-driven industry can quickly render some industries obsolete and then be replaced by new and emerging sectors. That results in continuous layoffs. So a collaboration between the EDD and NOVA Consortium used grant dollars to develop ProMatch, focusing on closing the gap between the under-skilled and the demands of the evolving technology sector.
ProMatch participants receive career coaching, presentation and leadership skills training, job leads, referrals to supportive services, and guidance on updating their skills to remain competitive – especially in the tech industry. In the past year, ProMatch enrolled 452 participants and 248 participants landed a new job. Isabel Echeverria is one of many successful participants who went to ProMatch for help after losing her job in 2014.
“I had applied to about 150 jobs and gotten 2 interviews. It quickly became apparent that nobody was going to come knocking on my door and offer me a job,” says Isabel. Similar to the rest of the participants, Isabel took advantage of the training offered by ProMatch to update her skills, improve her professional networking, learn entrepreneurial skills, and start a new career. Today, she works at Genentech doing operations.