Wednesday, February 12, 2014

California Grants to Boost Economically Distressed Areas

The recent California Economic Summit stressed the economic disparity amongst the regions within California. “We are living in two very different worlds in the same state,” said Gavin Newsome, California’s Lieutenant Governor. He labeled it the "Gatsby Curve" - a term demarking the regions on the road to recovery vs. ones that continue to struggle. Silicon Valley, for example, now enjoys unemployment rates at 6.7% or less while the San Joaquin Valley’s jobless rate hovers at 12.7%, far exceeding the statewide average of 9.3%. Human capital is a key predictor of a region’s potential. In acknowledgement of this, multiple state agencies – including the Governor's Office of Business & Economic Development (GoBiz) and the California Workforce Investment Board (CWIB) - and the Chancellor’s Office are coordinating resources into distressed economies to better “slingslot” their recovery.

A newly released $600K Industry-Drive Regional Collaborative (IDRC) grant opportunity from the CCCCCO Workforce & Economic Development Division seeks applications from colleges that serve distressed economies. Applications are due no later than 5:00 p.m., Friday, April 11, 2014. More on the IDRC-Economically Distressed Areas RFA Grant Package can be found here.
President Obama and the US Department of Labor announced $150M in existing resources from the H-1B fund to support high performing partnerships between employers, non-profit organizations and America’s public workforce system that will help provide long-term unemployed individuals with the range of services, training, and access they need to fill middle and high-skill jobs. The solicitation for applications for these “ready to work” partnerships will be available in February and awards will be made in mid 2014. and will be updated when more information is available.

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