EconAlliance held two Workforce and Literacy Initiative (WALI) forums back to back, one December 8th in Guadalupe, and one January 25th in Lompoc. As typical for WALI forums, each event featured an overview of the northern Santa Barbara County literacy and workforce development collective impact effort know as “WALI”, which is co-led by United Way and EconAlliance, with the support of Allan Hancock College, Peoples’ Self-Help Housing, Lee Newspapers and others.
Special presentations included one on the county crisis in childcare and how the Childrens’ Resource & Referral organization supports both families seeking childcare as well as care providers seeking to be state-licensed. Also featured was a WALI success story and video, and an overview of the state’s “Adult Education Block Grant – AEBG”, which is an impressive new adult education initiative, being implemented in North County by Allan Hancock College and Lompoc Adult School with consortium support. Additionally, EconAlliance provided an overview of a WALI-inspired new North County called the “Working Neighborhood Initiative”, which plans to provide literacy and workforce development support to six targeted North County neighborhoods, four of which are anchored by Peoples’ Self-Help Housing communities. The Central Coast Literacy Council also provided an update at the Lompoc 1/25 forum.
Sponsors for the Santa Maria event included Clos Pepe, ERG California, Aera Energy, PG&E, and others. First 5 of Santa Barbara County sponsored the 1/25 forum in Lompoc.
EconAlliance is in a grant partnership with Peoples Self-Help Housing (PSHH) and United Way Northern Santa Barbara County and Assessments USA/Canada to provide literacy enrichment to targeted PSHH youth and adults, as well as career awareness and job search skills for targeted adults. The first year of effort, funded by NeighborWorks, is documented in this video.