Unlike Oakland, Richmond Contributes to Federally Supported Job Programs

Oct 13, 2013

By Tasion Kwamilele

Oakland’s Workforce Investment Board takes one-third of its federal job and training funds to pay for administrative overhead. But other nearby cites, including Richmond, not only do not use job funds to pay for city staff, they even contribute money to enable their cities to provide additional services to the unemployed.

Oakland’s WIB announced earlier this year that  $1.5 million – roughly 32 percent – of its  $4.8 million federal allocation for 2013-2014, would be taken off the top to assist with the city’s administrative costs.

In Richmond, the city supports federal workforce development programs. With a 2013-2014 budget at $6.5 million, the City of Richmond has put in $1 million, says Sal Vaca, who has served as Richmond’s Workforce Investment Board executive director for 10 years.

“The City of Richmond actually supports work force development, “said Vaca. “Instead of taking out, they’re actually putting in.”

Oakland’s Workforce Investment Board (WIB) distributes federal funding to provide job training for teenagers, placement for

the formerly incarcerated and long-term laid off workers, as well as supporting the one-stop job centers in downtown Oakland and in other satellite locations.

Richmond WIB Executive Director Sal Vaca

Being embraced by the city has given Richmond’s WIB access to partnerships and information to help expand its work, and also gives the necessary credibility, according to Vaca. The City Council has helped by making work force development its top priority.

“We help our city reduce violence, move forward economically, and make a significant impact in the lives of our residents by creating job and career opportunities,” he added.

For more information about Richmond’s Workforce Investment Board, visit www.ci.richmond.ca.us/index.aspx?NID=671