The SEIU Early Educator Training Center (SETC) is pleased to announce that it will be expanding their innovative early care and education (ECE) workforce development training programs into Kern and Santa Clara Counties, and furthering its reach in Alameda County, thanks to a $240,000 Workforce Accelerator Fund (WAF) grant from the California Workforce Development Board and the Employment Development Department. This is the third time SETC has received a WAF grant.
“CAPK looks forward to this great opportunity that the Workforce Accelerator Fund grant will afford to our employees. It will allow our employees to enhance their knowledge, provide even higher quality services to our community’s children, and develop professionally. We see this partnership with SEIU Local 521 and SETC as an opportunity for us to collectively support Kern County, early educators, and families” said Yolanda Gonzalez, Director of Head Start, Community Action Partnership of Kern (CAPK).
Grant activities will include no-cost college coursework in community-based settings that accommodate the schedules, work and family demands, and educational needs of the ECE workforce. “I am very excited to be a part of the training programs that SETC is offering. I can’t wait to take college courses that will help me provide quality care and education to the children that I work with, and to learn” said Teresa Barrientos, Family Service Worker II, CAPK, SEIU Local 521 CAPK Chapter President.
“Our union members at CAPK and in Santa Clara and Alameda counties, are excited to join in partnership with their coworkers, their union, and their employer through these SETC programs. Together, we want to improve access to high quality early education in our communities, while improving the educational and professional opportunities of these hard-working women – many of whom are first-generation college students and immigrants” said Riko Mendez, Chief Elected Officer of SEIU Local 521.
The grant will make it possible for SEIU members in Locals 1021 and 521 to take child development courses offered by community colleges in Bakersfield, Santa Clara and Alameda County. In all, 12 courses will be offered from August 2017 through December 2018. In addition, as part of an ongoing partnership between SETC and the YMCA of the Central Bay Area’s Head Start program, the new grant will support coursework for a cohort of 20 unemployed Head Start parents who are participating in an intensive 6-month work-study program through which they earn CA Child Development Associate Teacher permits and become employed as Assistant Teachers in Head Start programs.