The City of Oakland was awarded $1,328,000 in three separate grants from the State of California Employment Development Department (EDD) to support laid-off, low-wage workers impacted by COVID-19.
Economic & Workforce Development Department staff recognized patterns in early business impact survey results that showed deep impacts to workers in the restaurant and hospitality industries from the pandemic. To support these vulnerable workers, staff identified trusted partners and submitted grant applications in late March and early April.
“Business shutdowns mandated by the Shelter-In-Place Orders resulted in many small businesses laying off their hourly workers,” said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. “These grants will allow our partner organizations to provide direct services to help impacted workers update their skills and quickly find new jobs.”
In partnership with the Alameda County Labor Council, an Emergency Additional Assistance Grant ($402,000) will serve laid-off, low-wage union members in retail, hospitality and tourism. Rapidly deployed services will include job search, training and job placement provided by three Oakland-based America’s Job Centers of California (AJCCs) that prioritize services for job seekers in East Oakland, the Fruitvale District and West Oakland: the Oakland Private Industry Council, the Unity Council and Lao Family Community Development. Participants will also have access to workshops, classes, and hiring fairs.
The Emergency Additional Assistance Grant will also support customized healthcare training for respiratory therapists, nurses and allied health workers. This support will result in certified staff being available for local health providers to treat patients with COVID-19 and other illnesses. The City of Oakland will partner with the Shirley Ware Education Center and the Alameda Health System on a customized training and certification program.
To further bolster services at the three AJCCs and partnering organizations, a National Employment Recovery Grant ($800,000) will expand these services to non-union low-wage workers in retail and hospitality as well as low-wage workers in additional industries. The grant will connect businesses and workers to short-term, on-the-job, or customized training programs and apprenticeships to help facilitate rapid reemployment.
The goal of both grants is to help dislocated workers find reemployment in job sectors that offer higher wages and greater demand.
To further help dislocated workers, an Additional Assistance Grant of $126,000 will provide supportive services for underserved populations. The funds will provide up to $800 per person for basic needs such as childcare, transportation, housing and utility assistance for eligible participants. Providing these important basic needs will allow job seekers to focus on quickly finding reemployment.
Funding for the three grants comes from the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and is administered by the EDD and the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency. Through this funding, the Oakland Workforce Development Board anticipates more than 350 workers will receive career development and supportive services.
To access any of the job training resources or supportive services, impacted workers should contact one of the following three AJCCs:
Lao Family Community Development
Languages: Spanish, Chinese, Burmese, English
Unemployment Claims Assistance – (510) 533-8850
Adult Services: (510) 290-2578
Other Services: (510) 533-8850
Oakland Private Industry Council
Languages: English, Spanish
Unemployment Claims Assistance: (510) 910-0986
Additional Services Phone Number: (510) 858-6742
The Unity Council
Languages: English, Spanish, Mam
Call (510) 535-6101, Monday to Friday, from 9 a.m. to Noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
# # #