Monthly Bulletin
February 2021

Dear Friend,

February has been a nonstop month of exciting work. The California EDGE Coalition is proud to have contributed to several critical reports released this month, including our own analysis on flexible postsecondary learning options for Californians. If you haven’t already read our report, Understanding Competency-Based Education, Credit for Prior Learning, and Other Flexible Learning Approaches in California, please take a look! 

The EDGE team has also been working closely with our partners to provide helpful insights on the development, purpose, and advantages of the impending Cradle-to-Career statewide longitudinal data system. This innovative informational tool is poised to improve outcomes for Californians seeking entry to the workforce. Read our Cradle-To-Career data system update on our website, and be sure to follow us on social media as we continue discussing the benefits of implementation.

Last but not least, as we come to the end of Black History Month let’s commit to continued celebration of the immeasurable contributions of the Black community, and continue to fight for equitable economic mobility for a community that has been shut out of prosperity for far too long. As we move forward in celebration I invite you to prioritize the alignment of our work with goals defined by the communities we seek to serve, with focus on equity, economic mobility, and shared prosperity for all.

Bay Equity at Work Council
What will it take for a just economic recovery? Field leaders say it requires centering workers who have been on the margins for too long. As a member of SFF's ReWork the Bay Equity at Work Council, EDGE's Executive Director, Zima, is a contributor to this report

Commentary: An Equitable Recovery for California Requires Two Key Strategies
The current economic downturn has deeply affected low-wage workers, communities of color, and women, further widening inequality. As a contributor to this conversation, EDGE believes the right policies could help those most affected while broadening economic opportunity. Read the commentary.
Recovery with Equity
The Governor’s Council for Post-Secondary Education released a report titled Recovery with Equity: A Roadmap for Higher Education After the Pandemic. EDGE is a proud contributor to this report examining how higher education plays an important role in our state's economic recovery. Read Recovery with Equity.

First Steps toward Recovery:
Job Training and Reskilling

This month, the California Little Hoover Commission released their newest report urging the state to act fast on “immediate and near-term steps" for the state to support re-skilling and retraining opportunities in the face of pandemic recovery. Read more in full report.

Credential Engine
EDGE supports investing in credentials and credential training for a thriving workforce. Credential Engine released the 3rd Edition of their Counting Credentials report with insightful information on credentials in the U.S., and a state-by-state breakdown. Take a look at California's numbers and the 2021 report.

Aspen Institute Webinar 
On Wednesday, March 3, the Aspen Institute is hosting a webinar called California’s Plans for the Future of Work, Workers, and a Renewed Social Compact. Guest speakers include Mark Kay Henry (SEIU), Julie A. Su (CA Labor Agency), and moderator Eduardo Porter (New York Times). Register today
Equitable Apprenticeship - Identifying Effective Practices Webinar
The Foundation for California Community Colleges and High Road Alliance (HRA) are hosting a webinar on effective practices and collective interest in growing the field of equitable apprenticeship. Join them on Tuesday, March 9, from 10:00-11:30 am
. RSVP today

California Budget and Policy Center 
The California Budget and Policy Center released a report reflecting on California job loss and its effects on business.

Read the report: Low-Paid Workers and Their Families Take Another Blow as California Begins to Lose Jobs Again.

This week the Governor signed the COVID Relief Budget Package which provides immediate relief for low-income individuals and working families, small businesses, and community college students. Major investments include: 
  • $2 billion to support small businesses. This is a four-fold increase over the $500 million that’s currently being distributed – for grants up to $25k for those businesses impacted by the pandemic, and also allocates $50 million from this total to non-profit cultural institutions.
  • $116 million in small business fee waivers. Small businesses would get 2-years of fee relief, helping thousands of restaurants, barbering and cosmetology businesses, and so forth.
  • $400 million for childcare services in federal funds. As we know, childcare access has been a huge barrier for both student parents and working families, and other essential workers throughout the pandemic. This funding provides stipends of $525 per enrolled child for all state-subsidized childcare and preschool providers.
  • $243 million for the CalWORKs Program. This funding is to provide the $600 additional grant dollars for families enrolled in CalWORKs.
  • $35 million allocation for food banks and diapers. Food banks will get $30 million and diaper banks $5 million.
  • Under the Golden State Stimulus, $600 dollars in direct payments to low-income Californians facing hardship, including CalEITC recipients for the 2020 tax year and ITIN tax filers.
  • $120 million in emergency financial aid for low-income community college students - $100 million specifically for financial aid and $20 million to re-engage students who either had to drop out due to the pandemic or are at risk of leaving.
Again, we applaud the Governor and Legislature for taking swift action on these critical investments!

Social Entrepreneurs for Economic Development (SEED) Grant

The CA Labor and Workforce Development Agency (LWDA) and Employment Training Panel (ETP) continue to accept proposals for their
SEED Grant Solicitation for Proposals until March 3, 2021.

ETP will provide approximately $9.65 million in funding to community based organizations to provide training, outreach, micro-grants, and technical assistance to immigrant entrepreneurs. Also included is a worker cooperative demonstration project to support the incubation, development, and capacity building of worker cooperatives.
Are you following us on social media? Get news, events, and policy updates as soon as they come in by following the CA EDGE Coalition on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn!
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