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$3.25 million Grant to Train Local Workers for Construction Industry

Posted on March 1, 2018

Employment Development Department

Santa Rosa, CA – To help prepare and train Sonoma County residents for jobs in the construction industry after the October wildfires, the Sonoma County Workforce Investment Board (WIB), in partnership with the Human Services Department Employment and Training Division, has received $3.25 million in emergency funds from the California Employment Development Department.

Residents can apply through Sonoma County Job Link at, the local America’s Job Center of California, 2227 Capricorn Way, Suite 100, Santa Rosa, or by calling (707) 565-5550.

“Last fall’s wildfires severely impacted Sonoma County jobs and the local economy,” said WIB Board Chair Kristyn Byrne. “These funds will help up to 700 individuals receive re-training for secure jobs and long-term careers. The WIB’s goal for these funds is to keep employees and jobs in Sonoma County.”

“This grant from the Economic Development Department means huge benefits for our community,” said Sonoma County Board of Supervisors Chair James Gore. “New training opportunities and support will help Sonoma County residents get sustainable, local jobs with good wages. Investing in workforce development is a critical piece in recovering from the destruction we faced from the firestorm, both in meeting immediate needs and for the long haul.”

Those eligible for training are current residents or former residents displaced by the October wildfires who are 18 or older, and eligible to work in the U.S., and qualify as Dislocated Workers.

Dislocated Workers are those:

  • Unemployed for six months or longer,
  • Terminated, laid off or who have received a notice of termination or layoff, including honorable separation from the military,
  • Self-employed (including farmers, ranchers and fisherman), but who are now unemployed due to economic conditions or October wildfires, or
  • Those re-entering the workforce due to a loss or significant reduction of spousal income (including military spouses).


“There are many union and non-union Building / Trades jobs that workers can enter with wrap-around support and training through this grant,” says Sonoma County Human Services Employment and Training Division Direct and WIB Director Katie Greaves. “Job Link staff and partners are already sharpening their understanding of the employment needs in the construction industry, so they can effectively direct job seekers to the right careers in the field, those that will hasten the rebuild of homes we so desperately need.”

Jobs that residents can be trained in by the grant include: air conditioning / refrigeration, bricklayer, carpenter, cement mason, electricians, floor covering/layer, glaziers, ironworker, landscape worker, utility fitter, millwright, painter, heavy equipment operator, plumber, roofer, sheet metal worker, sound and communication, steamfitter, surveyors, and truck drivers.

The support and training for workers includes:

  • Paid training through an apprenticeship program, on-the-job, or in the classroom,
  • Help paying for childcare, transportation, English language classes, union initiation fees, uniforms, equipment, safety gear and more,
  • Individualized planning and support to help you find a new career ,
  • Workshops on self-assessment, resumes, cover letters, social media networking and interviewing,
  • Access to employers through hiring events. ​

The California Employment Development Department monies were made available through the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Governor’s discretionary funds, under the administrative authority of EDD and the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency.


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