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Volume 8, Issue 11  |  February 7, 2023Subscribe

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Orange County Community Foundation receives $500,000 to support their Workforce Development Initiative

The Orange County Community Foundation (OCCF), based in Newport Beach, announced a $400,000 award from The James Irvine Foundation and a $100,000 award from The Nicholas Endowment to support the Community Foundation’s Workforce Development Initiative (WDI). These grants will allow OCCF to create formal pipelines for community college students to acquire credentials and secure employment in career-oriented, living-wage, middle-skill jobs in Orange County.

Launched in September 2019 in response to community data indicating a dire need to connect low-income youth and young adults to unfilled middle-skill jobs in the region, OCCF utilized an initial cohort of four collaborative projects to ensure a more educated and trained workforce. Skilled jobs were prioritized within the health, IT and advanced manufacturing industries. According to the 2019 OC Indicators Report, these jobs accounted for 48% of the county’s middle-skill job openings. The goal of the OCCF’s Workforce Development Initiative is to increase the number of community college students who secure middle-skill jobs by partnering with educational institutions, employers, and nonprofits to eliminate barriers for students wanting to achieve their educational and career goals.

Orange County Community Hope Builders

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OCCF receives grants to support community college students’ endeavors to acquire credentials and secure employment in career-oriented, living-wage, middle-skill jobs in Orange County

While OCCF has continued its work to build an inclusive and sustainable local economy by supporting the creation of quality jobs with equitable access, in September 2021, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill (SB) 162, which established the Community Economic Resilience Fund (CERF) to do the same across 13 California regions, including Orange County. OCCF has partnered with the Orange County Business Council, Charitable Ventures, and Orange County Grantmakers to join as a High Road Transition Collaborative (HRTC) philanthropic sector co-lead member that will ensure a fair governance structure, effective planning and implementation and engage private funding to expand CERF efforts. OCCF will utilize its newly awarded grants to incorporate CERF information and explore opportunities to leverage its work on the WDI.

“Our Workforce Development Initiative is a promise to the Orange County community that we’ll continue to prioritize initiatives that give residents equitable access to opportunities so that they can thrive,” said Shelley Hoss, president and CEO of the Orange County Community Foundation. “We’re thankful to the James Irvine Foundation and The Nicholas Endowment for supporting this initiative and partnering with us to develop a stronger and more resilient workforce.”

OCCF is recognized as the center of gravity for Orange County philanthropy, acting as an unparalleled resource for local philanthropists and their families for more than 30 years by offering unique insights, deep knowledge, and a diverse array of tools to support both lifetime and legacy giving. To learn more about the Orange County Community Foundation, visit www.oc-cf.org.

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