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October 1, 2014

SAN DIEGO – The San Diego Workforce Partnership has received a $6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Workforce Innovation Fund (WIF) for a five-year project serving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients with disabilities in San Diego County. SDWP was one of 11 recipients in nine states to receive the latest round of WIF awards. DOL announced the highly competitive awards, totaling $50.7 million, last week. The WIF grants were open to workforce agencies in all 50 states and to the nearly 600 local Workforce Investment Boards across the nation. 

“We are excited to bring these federal dollars to San Diego County to help families who have been impacted by disabilities achieve self-sufficiency,” said Peter Callstrom, SDWP CEO. “Families in this population face many challenges related to employment. The WIF grant provides SDWP with the funding and flexibility to administer a promising program design that provides a more collaborative approach to employment and supportive services for these families. We will leverage and combine existing programs and services to better meet these families’ specific needs.”

Program participants will be TANF recipient families who are exempt from the work participation requirement due to a disability in the family. The SDWP project will utilize a team-based design that provides a comprehensive set of services based on rapid and competitive job search, case management across multiple agencies, and personalized benefits analysis to ensure each family has the support and care they need as they pursue employment. 

SDWP is modeling its program after “Families Achieving Success Today,” a small pilot from Ramsey County, Minn., which showed significant positive results in assisting the same population to achieve employment, maintain employment and become self-sufficient. SDWP will replicate and scale-up the program to serve 500 families in San Diego County.

SDWP will work with San Diego County Behavioral Health Services and the County’s Health and Human Services Agency to identify potential participants and create greater alignment across public agencies. The estimated program start date is October 2015. 

To read more about the Workforce Innovation Fund and other federally funded job training programs, visit 

San Diego Workforce Partnership

The San Diego Workforce Partnership (SDWP) is the leader for innovative workforce solutions in San Diego County. It funds job training programs that enable adults and youth to develop the skills and knowledge needed for careers that are in demand. SDWP also provides current and projected labor market research on the region’s workforce trends and key industries. Its vision is to ensure that every business in our region has access to a skilled workforce and every job seeker has access to meaningful employment. For more information, visit


Heather Milne Barger


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