California launches workforce development fund to train workers for jobs of the future

State workforce programs will now be supported by an $18 million philanthropic fund for future careers and workforce development

SACRAMENTO – Today, Governor Gavin Newsom announced a new public-private partnership to create workforce development programs focused on high-paying careers in climate, public health and other promising jobs, particularly in disadvantaged communities. The High Road Training Fund is launched in partnership with the non-profit organization Jobs for the Future (JFF) and the California Workforce Development Board.

The state has already invested approximately $62 million in public funding to expand Highway Training Partnerships (HRTP) and Highway Construction Careers (HRCC). Over the next three years, the High Road Training Fund will invest more than $18 million to meet the needs of HRTP and HRCC grantees. Governor Newsom has proposed over $500 million to further expand highway programs.

The HRTP and HRCC, administered by the California Workforce Development Board, provide training to help workers gain the skills and experience necessary to participate in growing and emerging industries such as construction, forestry and agriculture , hospitality, transit and utilities, healthcare, commerce. , and logistics.

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

“At a time of widespread income inequality and growing climate threats, climate resilience and economic inclusion are two sides of the same coin,” said Ana Bertha Gutierrez, JFF Senior Director. “This work aims to drive investment in inclusive workforce development models that prioritize equity, economic growth and inclusive regional economies, as well as climate resilience and the environmental Protection.”

With seed funding and aligned support from the James B. Irvine Foundation and the Lumina Foundation, CWDB is working with JFF to launch the new fund in late summer 2022, with a focus on supporting grantees. to complete areas historically not covered by public funding sources. The fund will provide resources to cover barriers often faced by working people living in poverty, ranging from support to cover basic needs like housing and food insecurity, to capacity building funding for local programs and community organizations. partners.

“When we talk about climate change, homelessness, health disparities and the preservation of natural resources – at the heart of all these priorities are workers and how they drive change in their communities,” said said Natalie Palugyai, secretary of the California Labor & Workforce Development Agency. “This new fund provides communities with more equitable access to state highway investments that promote inclusion, good jobs, the voice of workers and economic prosperity.”


Michael A. Bynum