September 27, 2018

Contact: Eric Flores, CWA (916) 325-1610

Gov. Brown Approves Legislation on Employment Services During Disaster Relief Efforts

The California Workforce Association and the 45 Local Workforce Development Boards in the State applaud Governor Jerry Brown’s signing of AB 2915 by Assembly Member Anna Caballero. This important legislation will allow Local Workforce Development Boards to create memorandums of understanding with each other to coordinate mutual aid assistance between local workforce development boards in the event that a local workforce development board needs additional assistance in disaster relief efforts or activities. AB 2915 also directs the California Workforce Development Board to issue policy guidance on the development of such memorandums of understanding (MOUs) on or before July 1, 2020, including instruction and recommendations on allowable activities.

The 45 Local Workforce Development Boards in the state are trained in business engagement to help serve businesses affected by disasters but are restricted by both capacity and the geographic scope of some disasters. To that end, there is no mechanism for partnering local boards to provide staff and support that could mean the difference between hundreds of jobs and business being permanently lost or retaining those jobs and businesses. Similar to MOUs utilized by Firefighters and First Responders, AB 2915 allows Local Workforce Development Boards create the mutual aid agreements that allow responders to undertake disaster relief efforts across local and regional jurisdictions, providing additional and timely support.

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) 40-60% of businesses don’t reopen after a disaster and 90% of small businesses fail within one year if they do not get support within five days of a disaster.[1] Bob Lanter, Executive Director of the California Workforce Association, said the Bill works to mitigate disaster relief delays in the Workforce system’s response. “National Dislocated Worker Grant funds can take months to arrive to a local area” Lanter said. “Having a clear framework within which local Workforce Boards can support each other providing critical speed on service delivery that we know can be the difference between businesses closing down, and employers as well as employees leaving the local economy for good .”

Lanter added that the measure could also serve as a blueprint for such work Nationwide, noting that no other State had explored Mutual Aid Agreements among Workforce Development Boards.

AB 2915 was authored by Assembly Member Anna Caballero (D-Salinas) and was passed by the State Assembly and Senate by votes of 80-0 and 38-0-1, respectively.  It was sponsored by the California Workforce Association, in concert with the 45 Local Workforce Development Boards across the State of California.

California Workforce Association is the nonprofit membership organization representing the 45 Workforce Development Boards in the State of California.

[1] Federal Emergency Management Agency (2015, September 2). Make Your Business Resilient Retrieved from: https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1441212988001-1aa7fa978c5f999ed088dcaa815cb8cd/3a_BusinessInfographic-1.pdf

 

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