• Workforce Development Board of Ventura County Receives over $2.8 million To Provide Workforce Services To English Language Learners And Justice-Involved Individuals

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    January 12, 2021
    Workforce Development Board of Ventura County (WDB) was awarded $2,417,711 from the U.S. Department of Labor to prepare justice-involved individuals for the workforce. Another $350,000 was received from the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act/Governor's Discretionary Fund for services to the English Language Learner (ELL) population to foster successful job placement and retention. 
    WDB partnered with the Ventura County's Sherriff Office when applying for the Department of Labor grant that provides work-related training to inmates. The Ventura County "Bridges 2 Work" (B2W) project will place employment specialists at the Todd Road Jail in Santa Paula. Their focus will be on inmates who are less than 180 days away from release. A WDB "Pre-Release Specialized Job Center" at the jail will serve up to 300 inmates. 
    Working as a team with Todd Road Jail staff, the employment specialists will provide career services, including skills assessments, resume preparation, interview training, access to job boards and job placement services, and connections to skills training. 
    The Department of Labor awarded almost $65 million to 15 states to help justice-involved adults secure rewarding employment. The hope is that long-term job retention will decrease the recidivism rate within this population.
    “The Ventura County Sherriff’s Office welcomes the opportunity to partner with the WDB's 'Bridges 2 Work' project," says Cecil Argue, Inmate Program manager, Inmate Services Unit at the Ventura County Sheriff office at Todd Road Jail.  "The B2W project provides a continuum of services and support for inmates who have demonstrated a desire to make pro-social, positive lifestyle changes.  Inmates who are currently participating in or have completed in-custody programs such as High School Equivalency (GED), substance abuse treatment, vocational training and re-entry planning will be referred to B2W to determine participation eligibility.”
    Through the English Language Learner ELL program, WDB will collaborate with Ventura County partners to provide career coaching, resume assistance, interview skills practice, jobs training and other supportive services.
    ELL participants will be encouraged to attend education and training programs designed for in-demand industries such as healthcare and clean/green construction and others. Work-based training, including pre-apprenticeships and apprenticeships, will also be available. English language learners interested in receiving employment assistance should register with the Center for Employment Training by calling 805-487-9821. A representative will lead them through the registration process.
     “The purpose of this program is to continue to meet the needs of local job seekers and employers and to implement a navigator model to assist English learners in accessing and successfully completing local employment training and workforce development opportunities," says Rebecca Evans, WDB executive director.  "This program provides an opportunity to enhance our work with local partners in education and service and to bring documented best practices and strategies to our local community from around the state that have proven effective in an ELL Navigator pilot project and ongoing programs.“
    For more on the Workforce Development Board of Ventura County, go to http://workforceventuracounty.org.
    This workforce product was funded by a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. The product was created by the recipient and does not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Labor. The Department of Labor makes no guarantees, warranties, or assurances of any kind, express or implied, with respect to such information, including any information on linked sites and including, but not limited to, accuracy of the information or its completeness, timeliness, usefulness, adequacy, continued availability or ownership.
    About the Workforce Development Board
    The Workforce Development Board of Ventura County administers federal funds that help to support America's Job Center of California locations and other free job seeker, youth, and employer programs and services in Ventura County. The Workforce Development Board of Ventura County is a proud partner of America's Job Center of California network. Equal opportunity employer/program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities. If you have limitations hearing or speaking, dial 711 to reach the California Relay Service (CRS). For more information, call 805-477-5306 or visit http://workforceventuracounty.org.
    Rebecca Evans, Executive Director
    rebecca.evans@ventura.org, (805) 477-5306