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Tuesday, August 9, 2022

California bets on careers focused on future needs

careers focused on future needs

The Governor Gavin Newsom announced a new public-private partnership to create career-oriented workforce development programs focused on future needs and well-paying jobs in climate, public health and other jobs of the future, particularly in disadvantaged communities. 

The program called "High Road Training Fund" has been carried out in partnership with the non-profit organization "Jobs for the Future" - JFF, Jobs for the Future - and the California Workforce Development Board.

The state has already invested approximately $62 million in public funds to expand High Road Training Partnerships (HRTP) and High Road Career Construction (HRCC), and over the next three years, the High Road Training Fund will invest more than $18 million to support the needs of HRTP and HRCC grantees. 

For his part, Governor Newsom has proposed more than $500 million to further expand career-related programs focused on future needs.

The HRTP and HRCC, administered by the California Workforce Development Board, provide training to help workers acquire the skills and experience necessary to participate in careers focused on future needs such as emerging and growing industries, such as construction, forestry and agriculture, hospitality, public transportation and utilities, health care, trade and logistics.

"We are building a workforce of the future to create a cleaner, healthier and more prosperous California," said Governor Newsom. "Public-private partnerships like these are critical to achieving our shared goals as a state - a hands-on approach to providing workers with the training and education needed for these new jobs as we create a more sustainable and resilient future for all Californians."

Ana Bertha GutiƩrrez, senior director of JFF, noted that at a time of widespread income inequality and growing climate threats, "climate resilience and economic inclusion are two sides of the same coin".

"This work is about driving investment in inclusive workforce development models that prioritize equity, economic growth and inclusive regional economies along with climate resilience and environmental protection," he stressed.

With seed funding and aligned support from the James B. Irvine and Lumina Foundation, CWDB is working with JFF to launch the new fund in late summer 2022, with a focus on supporting grantees to supplement areas historically unmet through public funding streams. 

The fund will provide resources to address barriers often faced by workers living in poverty, from support for basic needs such as housing and food insecurity to capacity building funding for local programs and community-based organization partners.

"When we talk about climate change, homelessness, health disparities and preserving natural resources, at the center of all of these priorities are workers and how they drive change in their communities," said Natalie Palugyai, secretary of the Workforce Development Agency. 

This new fund, he said, will further empower communities to more equitably access state investments that foster inclusion, good jobs, worker voice and economic prosperity.

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