From Napa Valley Register: Napa disaster relief fund to train locals for construction trades

July 17, 2019, Register Staff

Napa Valley Community Foundation announced the launch of the Workforce Pathways Collaborative, a partnership to train workers for the booming construction sector.

Classes will be offered between October and February in both Calistoga and in Napa to ready workers for entry level jobs.

This is a partnership between the Foundation and Napa Valley Adult Education, Napa Valley College, On the Move and UpValley Family Centers.

The goal is to help hourly workers build the skills they need to gain employment and to address the critical shortage of construction labor, which has slowed the pace of rebuilding and driven up costs of rebuilding from the wildfires of October 2017, the foundation said in a news release.

The program will combine technical career education with student and family support, coaching and career exploration. The objective is for participants to become immediately employable in jobs that will indirectly benefit the hundreds of families still needing to rebuild their homes.

The construction and building trades coursework is designed for working adults, and is offered on nights and weekends.

Classes were devised by Napa Valley Adult Education with input from local building and construction professionals, who also will help match job seekers with employment prospects. All elements of the program are designed to reduce barriers to participation, from bilingual classroom assistance and materials in Spanish, to academic tutoring and childcare.

Tuition assistance will be available to those who qualify, and participants will receive basic work materials upon completion. Students will be taught by construction professionals, and will work with case managers on “soft” job skills training, financial education and goal setting.

For those interested in learning more about the program or to register for an August orientation session, please contact Edith Pacheco, On the Move (in Napa) at 707-509-3550 or Edith@theneighborhoodinitaitive.org or Susana Garcia, UpValley Family Centers (in Calistoga) at 707-965-5010 or sgarcia@upvalleyfamilycenters.org.

This program is the latest in the series of disaster aid programs provided by NVCF’s Disaster Relief Fund since the October 2017 wildfires. To date, more than $8.4 million has been distributed from the Fund to provide relief and recovery services to 15,000 Napa County fire survivors in partnership with two dozen local nonprofit organizations.

Of this amount, $5.7 million has been distributed in the form of direct financial assistance to more than 2,400 workers, households and small businesses – who lost homes, personal property or income because of the fires.

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