English Language Learner Pilots

The California Workforce Development Board, Employment Development Department and Labor and Workforce Development Agency are directing Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), Governor’s Discretionary Funds to seed innovation that expands access and enhances services for California’s English Language Leaners (ELLs). Pilot projects funded through this initiative implement specific strategies to move ELLs toward family-sustaining employment.

In May 2017, $2.5 million was awarded to five pilots to implement a workforce navigator program to help English learners access career services and community-based supports leading to jobs. The projects focused on building partnerships and positioning navigators to better align job training, adult education and community support services for individuals with limited English-language proficiency. An additional award of $500,000 was made to provide pilots with technical assistance and to conduct an evaluation.

Implementation Grants were awarded to partnerships in Fresno and Madera Counties, Orange County, City of Long Beach, City and County of Sacramento and City of El Cajon, San Diego County. A Technical Assistance and Evaluation Grant was awarded to ALLIES under the direction of Ursula Bischoff.

In May 2019, $1.2 million was awarded to four pilot projects coordinate with WIOA partners to provide increased access to training, case management/navigation, and supportive services with a focus on implementation of the ELL Co-Enrollment Pilot.

Implementation grants were awarded to partnerships in Tulare County, Los Angeles County, the City of Richmond, and Verdugo County (Orange County was unable to accept an award). The California Workforce Association received a $500,000 award for Technical Assistance and Evaluation directed by Ursula Bischoff with partners IRC and SPRA.

ELL Co-Enrollment Pilot Stakeholder Newsletters

In June 2020, $1.35 million was awarded to four pilots to implement projects that increase access to services, align WIOA programs, implement co-enrollment strategies, leverage other program funding, provide supportive services, and create onramps to career pathways and or pre-apprenticeship/apprenticeship opportunities for California’s ELL population.

Implementation grants were awarded to partnerships in Madera County, a consortium in Colusa, Glenn, Sutter, Yuba Counties, San Joaquin County, and Ventura County. No Technical Assistance and Evaluation award was made in this round of funding.