As California’s economy has grown in recent years, so too has the number of middle-skill jobs – positions that offer higher wages for high school graduates who have had additional training. Approximately 1.4 million middle-skill jobs are unfilled in California, and yet these jobs are just out of reach for many low-wage workers.
Every worker should have the access and opportunity to earn wages that can sustain a family and the chance to advance in their careers. This benefits Californians, their families, and our state, and a diversified workforce is good for workers and businesses alike.
Through our grantmaking and partnerships, the Better Careers initiative seeks to:
Since March 2018, we have announced $15 million in grants under our Better Careers initiative.
A two-year grant of $750,000 to build a California Opportunity Marketplace that connects employers with job-placement organizations that include traditionally overlooked candidates in who they serve. The marketplace’s aim is to place more Californians without bachelor’s degrees into quality, middle-wage jobs.
In 2016 and 2017, we announced $17.3 million in grants to expand efforts in the field, and importantly, to inform Irvine’s Better Careers initiative.
A two-year grant of $700,000 to create a replicable, scalable training model that results in new and expanded pathways for Opportunity Youth in creative technology careers. This includes preparing graduates for employment opportunities that can sustain a family while improving collaboration on a systems level.
A two-year grant of $1 million to implement the Rubicon Empowerment model in Contra Costa County. Rubicon’s model equips participants to climb their socioeconomic ladders through guided participation and achievement in four domains: Income, Assets, Wellness, and positive Social Connections.
A two-year grant of $1 million to expand capacity in the San Francisco Bay Area to create accessible good jobs through education, acceleration, and investment in high-growth small businesses; and a 20-month grant of $400,000 to establish ICA Fund Good Jobs loan loss reserve.
A two-year grant of $3.3 million to expand operations in Los Angeles and the Bay Area. Opportunity youth are placed on a viable path to economic self-sufficiency through their high-support, high-expectation model that combines marketable job skills, stipends, internships, and college credits.
A two-year grant of $1 million to expand Fresno Community Development Financial Institution's support for low- to moderate- income entrepreneurs working to achieve self-sufficiency.
A $150,000 grant to support the Los Angeles Creative Industry Programming Study to inform workforce development entities and programs operating on the ground to prepare and place high-risk young people (ages 14-24) in middle-wage, middle-skill jobs in the creative economy/entertainment sector.
There's a growing number of innovative programs linking and aligning employer’s specialized needs with workers' desire for the skills to secure a good job. These alternative pathways programs align training with in-demand skills and competencies to connect workers to open positions.Download Part I: Establishing Effective Program Pillars | Download Part II: Program Profiles