EDD awards $4 million for apprenticeship programs to recruit, train, and employ disadvantaged youth as firefighters and paramedics


NR No. 23-35
Contact: Loree Levy/Aubrey Henry

SACRAMENTO – The California Employment Development Department (EDD) has awarded $4 million to the California Firefighter Joint Apprenticeship Committee (Cal-JAC) to expand and develop apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs to recruit, train, and employ firefighters and paramedics. The grant will prioritize the inclusion of young adults who come from a disadvantaged or underrepresented background.

“Firefighters and paramedics are essential to all Californian communities,” said EDD Director Nancy Farias, “and this funding will allow the development of apprenticeship programs to provide disadvantaged and underrepresented Californians with an opportunity to serve their communities in these key, critical industries.”

With this grant, the Cal-JAC will be responsible for facilitating the development, implementation, and expansion of up to five apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs that will serve 270 to 500 participants. The program is designed to increase the number of individuals in local communities who enter a firefighter apprenticeship or pre-apprenticeship training program. Cal-JAC will coordinate with the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Intermediary awardee to establish a talent pipeline for more advanced healthcare careers, and recruit graduates of the forthcoming EMS Corps program.

This funding is part of Workforce for a Healthy California — the state’s broad strategy to grow and strengthen our health workforce so that we can meet the health needs of all Californians, now and in the future. Coordinated by an interagency group that includes the California Health & Human Services Agency (CalHHS) and the Labor & Workforce Development Agency (LWDA) — along with their departments — Workforce for a Healthy California seeks to address the urgent shortage of health workers across California. It complements other major initiatives, including the Children and Youth Behavioral Health Initiative, CalGrows, and the Reproductive Health Care Access Initiative — that together total more than $7.5 billion to expand the health workforce across primary and specialty care, behavioral health, home care, and community-based services. 

Funding for this grant was provided through General Funds made available by Governor Gavin Newsom and administered by the EDD and the California Labor & Workforce Development Agency.

The Cal-JAC was selected through a competitive application and evaluation process. Please refer to the table below for the organization’s contact information to learn more about the services available with these funds.

Firefighter Joint Apprenticeship Program Year 2022-23 Award
Awardee Award Amount Contact
California Firefighter Joint Apprenticeship Committee (Cal-JAC) $4,000,000

Yvonne de la Rena