Expand Workforce Training and Development
The SB 350 Barriers Study’s fifth recommendation is to maximize economic opportunities and benefits for low-income residents from investment in clean transportation and mobility options by expanding workforce training and development. The goals of this recommendation are to:
- Expand and increase connections to good quality clean transportation jobs;
- Bridge gaps in access to workforce development programs for youth and adults, job training, and career advancement opportunities;
- Maximize investments that address community-identified needs; and,
- Aid economic recovery through direct workforce training and development investments in communities.
Over the past few years, CARB has allocated funding for various workforce training and development efforts. CARB has partnered with the California Energy Commission (CEC) to implement the Inclusive, Diverse, Equitable, Accessible, and Local (IDEAL) Zero-emission Vehicle (ZEV) Workforce Pilot. With a combined budget of $6.5 million, IDEAL ZEV Workforce Pilot supports large and small training and education community investments for ZEVs, charging and fueling infrastructure, and ZEV-related commercial technologies statewide, including community and employer engagement with pathways toward clean transportation jobs. CARB is working with CEC to evaluate whether these projects could be readily replicated in other areas of the state and benefit additional priority populations.
CARB has also allocated $1.5 million in FY 2021-22 funding to support existing ZEV and technology adult education and vocational school programs. This investment supports CARB’s equity goal of expanding benefits of clean mobility investments and partnerships beyond state agencies to non-traditional workforce partners rooted in communities. CARB released a new competitive solicitation in August 2023.
To date, approximately $2 million in FY 2021-22 funding is also being leveraged to fund expanded ZEV workforce training and development opportunities through California community colleges. CARB is partnering with the Foundation for California Community Colleges (FCCC) to increase the number of skilled ZEV-trained individuals entering the California workforce, with a focus on programs serving disadvantaged communities. This investment will support local community college ZEV programs, a targeted Student Ambassador outreach program, and a landscape analysis of community college programs in the ZEV space. These efforts will complement those efforts mentioned above, along with broader state and local investments. They will also be a conduit for better understanding workforce needs in communities and determining where future clean transportation program investments should take place.
CARB is also prioritizing workforce training and development through existing clean mobility pilots and heavy-duty demonstrations. This includes support for future clean transportation needs, such as ZEV repair, charging infrastructure installation and required certifications such as the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program, and broader education and awareness. CARB continues to work with state partners to understand the full landscape of workforce training and development investments and where additional emphasis is needed to support the specific needs of those that would benefit most from these investments.
In August 2023, CARB released the $1.5 million solicitation to support ZEV technology training in existing adult education and vocational schools. As the ZEV workforce training and development efforts described above are fully implemented, CARB will evaluate these pilot efforts and consider whether future additional funding should be directed to similar or other types of workforce training and career development opportunities.