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WIB Secures $738,340 Grant to Empower Young Adults and People with Disabilities in the Workforce

The Workforce Investment Board of Tulare County (WIB) has recently received a significant grant of $738,340 from the United States Department of Labor (DOL) and Employment Development Department (EDD) Equity Target Population Fund. This grant aims to support the WIB's commitment to cultivating a skilled workforce in the region while specifically addressing employment gaps and providing access to quality jobs for Disconnected Youth (DYA) and People with Disabilities (PWD). This exciting funding opportunity will empower the WIB to implement the Access to Careers and Employment (ACE) program, a comprehensive initiative designed to equip young adults and people with disabilities with the necessary skills and opportunities for success.

The primary focus of the ACE program is to bridge the gap between skills and employment for Disconnected Youth and People with Disabilities in Tulare County. By collaborating with key partners, including Employment Connection of Tulare County, Community Services Employment Training (CSET) youth@work, Department of Rehabilitation (DOR), and other organizations, the WIB aims to provide work-based learning, transitional jobs, on-the-job training, and cohort-based training in advanced manufacturing, healthcare, transportation, and logistics. This multi-faceted approach will enable participants to gain practical experience and develop the expertise needed to secure quality jobs.

ACE represents a collective effort involving numerous partners dedicated to empowering the community. With the involvement of organizations such as Tulare-Kings Healthcare Partnership, Tulare County Office of Education (TCOE) youth@work and Ticket to Success, and Employment Development Department (EDD) Wagner Pyser Department, the ACE program benefits from diverse expertise and resources. By pooling together their knowledge and experience, these partners will create a strong support network that nurtures the professional growth and success of program participants.

To ensure participants' success, ACE incorporates vital elements such as career coaching and integrated resource teams (IRTs). Career coaches will guide individuals in identifying their career paths and formulating plans that lead to stable employment with livable wages. The IRTs will meet regularly to facilitate co-enrollments and co-case management strategies, enabling participants to access a range of supportive services. This holistic approach recognizes the importance of addressing individual needs and providing the necessary support to overcome any barriers to success.

Through the ACE program, the WIB and its partners aim to serve 151 individuals, contributing to their broader efforts of developing a skilled workforce that aligns with the needs of local employers. By equipping young adults and individuals with disabilities with the relevant skills and opportunities, the WIB seeks to promote economic growth and improve the overall quality of life in Tulare County. This comprehensive workforce development initiative is a crucial step towards achieving a more equitable and prosperous future for the community.

The Workforce Investment Board of Tulare County's receipt of the $738,340 grant showcases their commitment to addressing employment gaps and fostering inclusivity in workforce development. Through the Access to Careers and Employment (ACE) program, young adults and people with disabilities will gain access to work-based learning, training, and supportive services in key industries. With collaboration from various partners, the WIB aims to create a skilled workforce that meets the demands of local employers while promoting economic growth and equity within Tulare County. This grant serves as a significant investment in the future, ensuring that all community members have equitable access to training and quality jobs.

See the recent press release HERE


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