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November 18, 2021

Successful Manager Making Deal With Partner Shake Hands Express Respect

The San Diego Workforce Partnership announced that it was awarded $1,714,588 in funding through the United States Department of Labor’s Comprehensive and Accessible Reemployment through Equitable Employment Recovery (CAREER) Dislocated Worker Grants program. CAREER National Dislocated Worker Grants fund a range of reemployment services that support job seekers with search assistance, career guidance and childcare and transportation costs. This funding is made possible through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

With support from local partners, the Workforce Partnership’s work will focus on the county’s recovery from the COVID-19 recession by assisting parents, specifically women and women of color, to reenter the workforce. “The pandemic was a breaking point in a system that has failed to provide for the needs of women. Through the CAREERS grant we plan to support parents and women by providing supportive services such as extended childcare, mental health services, training and career transition support,” said Workforce Partnership CEO Peter Callstrom. “Underserved communities have been disproportionally impacted by the pandemic. We are poised to empower people with new training and supports that will benefit our entire community.” The program strategy addresses the barriers to employment such as mental health and childcare prior to focusing on training needs and re-employment services in priority sectors.

The Workforce Partnership will connect with the Employment Development Department to identify customers who have received unemployment insurance for six months or longer and those who have exhausted their unemployment benefits. The YMCA Child Care Resource Service will also identify participants who are unemployed and seeking childcare assistance through its childcare bridge program.

Participants will undergo an assessment to uncover family strengths and needs and connect them with support to find and pay for childcare and early childhood behavior and mental health services. They will also be connected with community partners to address barriers to gaining employment and to build critical skills. Participants will have access to postsecondary school programs, including career and training options suitable to their interests in order to assist with re-employment and career transitions.

According to the Workforce Partnership, this holistic approach marries the most essential services to ensure that parents have what they need to be successful in the workplace and increase overall well-being.

COVID-19 is a public health and economic crisis. Parents, mostly women, bear the brunt of the resulting economic devastation–it is the country’s first “shecession.” They’ve been impacted by long-term unemployment due to school closures and limited childcare opportunities due to the pandemic. Many women have had to choose to either stay in the workforce or care for their families. Over the last 50 years, women and mothers have become an integral part of the American labor force, but social and economic policies have not kept pace with the advancement of women, especially women of color.

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