In April 2017, the California Labor & Workforce Development Agency and the California Workforce Development Board awarded five workforce development boards and their adult education and community partners with a $500,000 EL Navigator Grant. In recognition of the large English Language Learner (ELL) and immigrant population in California who face language, cultural and other barriers to entering the workforce system, the state is making this investment to increase enrollment of ELLs and immigrants in workforce training programs. ALLIES was selected to provide technical assistance to all five grantees, as well as to conduct quantitative and qualitative evaluation of the 5 pilot programs.
The EL Navigator pilots will identify best practices to better serve the ELL and immigrant population in the workforce system. The pilot project model includes workforce navigators that serve as career coaches, case managers and quasi social workers ensuring that participants are on an education or training path, are meeting their milestones, and have the necessary support to overcome barriers such as transportation, childcare issues etc.
This project recognizes that there needs to be strong collaboration with community based organizations (CBOs) and workforce partners. The selected sites will work to strengthen the alignment across workforce programs, and in particular between Title I Training and Employment programs and Title II Adult Education programs.
Recognizing ALLIES’ experience in facilitating collaborative networks between adult education providers, workforce development boards and community based organizations, as well as validating ALLIES’ Immigrant Integration Framework, the California Labor & Workforce Development Agency and its partners selected ALLIES as the technical assistance provider and evaluator for grantees of the EL Navigator Pilot.
Advocating for innovative multi-sector collaboration models that create opportunities for English Language Learners to be successful in their educations, careers and communities is at the core of ALLIES’ work. We are honored to be offered the opportunity to leverage our expertise in this area and look forward to facilitating a peer learning community among the grantees of the EL Navigator Pilot.