California partners with nonprofit to train climate, public health workers

(The Center Square) – The state of California has formed a new public-private partnership to expand the state’s stable of workers in the climate and public health sectors. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office calls these “jobs of the future.”

The High Road Training Fund will be a joint venture between the state Workforce Development Board and the nonprofit Jobs for the Future. Newsom’s office said the state program would be similar to the High Road Training Partnerships and the High Road Construction Careers program, which has seen $62 million in state funds allocated between the two.

Unlike those – geared to train workers for construction, forestry and agriculture, hospitality, public transit and utilities, health care, trade, and logistics – the new fund will be geared toward sustainability experts and public health workers.

The fund, Newsom’s office said, will pay for things not typically covered through public funding streams. These include housing, food, and “capacity-building funding” for local programs.

“We’re building a workforce of the future to create a cleaner, healthier, and more prosperous California,” Newsom said in a Friday statement. “Public-private partnerships like these are critical to achieving our shared goals as a state – an all-hands-on-deck approach to provide workers with the training and education needed for these new jobs as we create a more sustainable and resilient future for all Californians.”

Newsom has proposed more than $500 million to expand the programs. His office stresses that the new program will focus on equity as it trains workers.

“At a time of broad-based income inequality and growing climate threats, climate resilience and economic inclusion are two sides of the same coin,” said Ana Bertha Gutierrez, Senior Director at JFF.

Seed funding for the new program comes from the James B. Irvine Foundation and Lumina Foundation. Newsom’s office expects JFF to launch later this summer.

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