Youth and Adult Paid Training Programs
By Dianne Anderson
Some of the goals that grew out of the police killing of George Floyd are bringing millions in funding to support housing and health, along with a recent budget infusion set to get Long Beach ready for careers.
It’s time to get it while the getting is good.
Eli Romero, Pacific Gateway Special Projects Officer, said with an increase in public and philanthropic support, Pacific Gateway received $6.3 million funding from the Governor’s Office that will be used by the department to implement Long Beach Youth Climate Corps to get youth in front of efforts to address local climate change.
“The project’s design follows priorities outlined in the City’s Climate Action and Adaption Plan, as well as the Strategic Plan for Youth and Emerging Adults. Over the next two years, the Long Beach Youth Climate Corps will serve 380 between the ages of 16 to 30 years old,” said Romero in an email.
The CaliforniansForAll Youth Workforce Development program funding is offering up to 450 hours paid work experience and training around climate action and food insecurity. Youth will help build public awareness, and work with local public agencies and nonprofits and schools, earning from $16-27 an hour.
Among the qualifications for hire, applicants must be low income, either unemployed or have difficulty finding employment, had been justice-involved, or transitioning from foster care.
“Pacific Gateway will also coordinate supportive wraparound services and allocate specific funding to provide services such as transportation assistance, clothing vouchers, rental assistance, and utility payment assistance to ensure participants have the flexibility and a foundation of support to successfully participate in the program,” according to an April city memorandum.
The city has also received a $1.6 million grant from the Conrad N. Hilton, along with their typical $3 million federal allocation, and roughly $700,000 from the Long Beach Recovery Act dollars.
Romero said that through the coming year, Pacific Gateway’s youth programs will place nearly 700 youth into paid work experience opportunities, and also connect opportunities to vulnerable populations, including underserved communities, to training in partnership with Long Beach City College, Centro CHA, and United Cambodian Community.
“We are committed as a workforce agency to reaching goals outlined in our community-informed Racial Reconciliation Initiative that calls on strengthening funding, access, and programs that increase economic participation, and inclusive workforce settings,” he said.
Their top priority remains using their continued funding source through the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA), which connects youth to a wide range of occupational skills training and work experience.
That program assists with industry-recognized certification opportunities in the region’s top industry sectors including Trade, Transportation, Logistics, Healthcare, and Advanced Manufacturing.
“There are some opportunities that could start immediately,” he added.
Typically, Blacks represent double the unemployment impact than white nationwide. According to recent indicators by the Economic Policy Institute, in California, unemployment for Whites is at 4.5%, Blacks at 7.9% and Hispanic at 5.9%
Connecting Long Beach’s Black / African American community to Long Beach’s thriving industry sectors and economic growth is a high priority, he said, with goals outlined in their soon-to-be updated Blueprint for Economic Development.
His department also works with city agencies, including Long Beach Health and Human Services department and the Los Angeles County Development Authority to bring entrepreneurship training and small business loan programs.
He said their partners also include nonprofit Success in Challenges, and collaborating with local nonprofit leader Darick Simpson from the Miller Foundation, as well as Yardenna Aaron from the Earthlodge Center for Transformation, to design strategic approaches and include direct input from Long Beach residents.
Launched last week, the city also kicked off a three-day workshop through its Space Beach K-12 teacher externship program at multiple employer sites in Long Beach, including special visits to Boeing, Relativity Space, Rocket Lab, SpinLaunch and Virgin Orbit.
That effort intends to open up more collaborations between Pacific Gateway and Long Beach aerospace employers, and 16 LBUSD teachers to raise awareness of aerospace industry trends. Participating teachers also received extended exposure to aerospace manufacturing, rocket launch trends, work environments and types of careers that their students may want to pursue in aerospace.
Through the $1.6 million Conrad N. Hilton grant, more opportunities in aerospace will be created for youth that have been disconnected from school and work.
“The aerospace sector is a huge part of our city and our local economy,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “It’s great to see this program continue expanding opportunities for our students and educators to partner with these fantastic Long Beach companies.”
To learn more and apply for paid training with the Long Beach Youth Climate Corps, complete the form here: https://bit.ly/3KsLvjX
For a Pacific Gateway career specialist, see www.pacific-gateway.org, or call 562-570-4700.