The California Labor and Workforce Development Agency and the California Workforce Development Board awarded $1.2 million to four local workforce boards to implement a workforce navigator pilot program to help English Language Learners (ELL) and immigrant workers with career services and support that lead to jobs. The projects funded will better align job training, adult education and support services for individuals with limited English-language proficiency.

This population faces cultural, language and other barriers that limit access and opportunities to complete job training programs. The co-enrollment pilot program will provide case management and referrals to support services that will help immigrants and those with language barriers receive the education and skills training needed for income mobility.

The California Labor & Workforce Development Agency and its partners selected CWA as the technical assistance provider and evaluator for the 4 grantees of the ELL Co-Enrollment Pilot Program:

Verdugo Workforce Development Board (Glendale, CA):
Verdugo ELL Co-Enrollment System (VECES)
  • Verdugo Job Center (VJC)
  • Glendale Community College (GCC)
  • GlendaleLEARNS
  • International Rescue Committee (IRC)
  • Hospitality Training Academy (HTA)
  • Glendale Library Arts & Culture (GLAC)
  • LA County Department of Public Social Services (DPSS)
  • Catholic Charities of LA (CCLA)
  • Employment Development Department (EDD)
Workforce Investment Board of Tulare County (Tulare, CA):
English Language Learning Co-Enrollment Pilot Program
  • Proteus, Inc. (Proteus)
  • Community Service Employment Training (CSET)
  • Sequoias Adult Education Consortium (SAEC)
  • Employment Development Department (EDD)
  • Cutler-Orosi Joint Unified School District (COJUSD)
  • Tulare Joint Union High School District (TJUHSD) – Adult Education
  • Tulare County Health and Human Services Agency (TCHHSA)
Los Angeles County Workforce Development (Los Angeles, CA):
Pomona Puente Collaborative
  • LA County Workforce Development, Aging & Community Services (WDACS)
  • Pomona Valley America’s Job Center of California (PVAJCC)
  • Managed Career Solutions, Social Purpose Corporation (MCSSPC)
  • Pomona Hope
  • Pomona Economic Opportunity Center (PEOC)
Richmond Workforce Development Board (Richmond, CA):
Project IMPACTO (Immigrant Participants Accessing Career Training Opportunities)
  • Weigh of Life Multicultural Institute (WLMI), Latina Center
  • West Contra Costa Adult Education (WCCAE), Literacy for Every Adult Program
  • Contra Costa Community College (CCCC)
  • Contra Costa Employment and Human Services Department (CCEHSD), CalFresh/TANF
Technical Assistance and Evaluation Teams

Technical Assistance and Evaluation Lead

California Workforce Association (CWA): CWA brings broad and deep experience training and facilitating partnerships among California’s (CA’s) workforce development boards (WBDs) and other stakeholders serving CA’s immigrant/ELL workforce. CWA provides training on co-enrollment; regional and local planning; interpreting Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) requirements, directives, and system partner expectations; MOUs; One Stop Redesign; and other topics that can support awardees in accelerating progress toward grant goals. CWA is currently leading work to transform systems to better serve people with barriers to employment through its work on AB 1111. CWA Project Lead, Ursula Bischoff brings more than 20 years of experience in fostering multi-sector partnerships, and in workforce development programming across WIOA Titles, including recently leading technical assistance (TA) and evaluation for the ELL Workforce Navigator Pilot Program.

Technical Assistance

International Rescue Committee (IRC): IRC serves ~40,000 immigrant and ELL individuals annually in 25 cities across the U.S. Among them are more than 9,000 people accessing workforce development programs including career pathway programming, integrated education and training, vocational ESL, sector-specific, and youth programs. IRC is a contracted WIOA Title I and II provider in multiple communities, bringing in-depth expertise on the challenges and opportunities in serving immigrant and ELL customers in these funding streams. IRC has also implemented and managed successful workforce programs serving WIOA customers enrolled or co-enrolled in TANF, SNAP E&T, and many others. IRC also brings knowledge of relevant data systems and reporting requirements both within and outside of CA. IRC consults with over 20 local WDBs and agencies in over 15 states on WIOA services for immigrants and ELLs, including on effective co-enrollment strategy.


Social Policy Research Associates (SPR): SPR is an Oakland-based small business with a national reputation for insightful qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-methods evaluations of workforce programs, including many innovative programs, operated at federal, state, and local levels. Decades of experience evaluating and providing technical assistance (TA) around workforce system services gives SPR an intimate knowledge of WIOA, the various tiers of California workforce system plans, the various partners needed to implement workforce system policies, and the ways in which these policies, especially in California, encourage and discourage the inclusion of ELL (and other high-barrier) populations. SPR has lead evaluations on an ELL program n K-12 schools across three school districts in California in addition to CWDB’s Workforce Accelerator Fund, which funds innovative workforce system programming for ELLs and other high barrier populations.


CONVENING 2 – April 29, 2020

Convening 2 Resource and Materials

CONVENING 1 – November 21, 2019

Convening 1 Resources and Materials
Data/Data Entry
Workforce During COVID-19 Emergency Response
General Program Management
  • English Language Learners Navigator Initiative – A collection of resources developed by local partnerships serving English learners, including outreach materials in multiple languages, program flow charts, and lessons from the first round of ELL Co-Enrollment pilots are available on the CA WDB website.
Additional Resources
  • Opening Doors of Opportunity – The full evaluation of the ELL Co-Enrollment Navigator Pilot of 2017-2018 can be found here or by clicking the link below. This report details the site teams and their programs while highlighting best practices from the implementation teams and suggestions for the future. (For the link, use the PDF titled ELL-Navigator-Final-Evaluation-May-2019)
  • A new report by the National Skills Coalition helps make the case for changing policy and building partnerships to serve English learners. The report explores racial and ethnic disparities in attainment and access; systemic barriers to equitable workforce training and quality employment, and why advancing equity is a moral imperative. To learn more, read NSC’s new publication, “The Roadmap for Racial Equity: An imperative for workforce development advocates.”
  • Strategic Co-enrollment – Unified Plan Partners – This policy provides the guidance and establishes the procedures regarding California’s strategic co-enrollment. While this policy is not a mandate, this strategy is highly encouraged and supported under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and the California Unified Strategic Workforce Development Plan (State Plan).
  • Work in Crisis: A Leadership Workshop for Workforce Development
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