DAS Solicits Proposals for $25 Million Equal Representation in Construction Apprenticeship Grant Program
Funds will help remove barriers to women, non-binary and underserved populations entering building and construction trades
Oakland—The California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) and its Division of Apprenticeship Standards (DAS), on behalf of the Labor & Workforce Development Agency, announces the availability of $25 million in funding to improve access to training and employment opportunities for women, non-binary and underserved populations within the building and construction trades. The Equal Representation in Construction Apprenticeship (ERiCA) grant funds will be used to cover childcare costs and improve outreach.
“The money from this grant will help remove obstacles to entering this industry,” said DIR Director Katie S. Hagen. “When we spoke with women in construction, they told us childcare costs were one of the biggest barriers to working in the trade. We want to encourage organizations to utilize this funding to remove barriers, support parents and get creative in reaching out to these historically underserved groups in the construction trades.”
The grant can help organizations that are already working to assist women, non-binary and underserved communities to enter the construction trades. Community-based organizations, local education agencies, workforce boards, unions and other organizations that support equity in the construction industry are eligible to apply. DAS has posted information on its webpage and will provide additional details before the grant proposals are due in January. Questions about the grant can be sent to DASGrantUnit@dir.ca.gov.
“In California, women and non-binary individuals make up only 3.5 percent of active apprentices in the building and construction trades,” said Labor Secretary Natalie Palugyai. “When we stop to think about why, it’s in large part because construction is widely viewed as a man’s job. We want to change that. By providing childcare supportive services and expanding our outreach to new and underserved populations, we will support access and equity in the construction industry, while also helping to meet its urgent need for skilled workers.”
California has invested significantly in apprenticeship via the 2022-2023 state budget including an additional $15 Million to augment the 2021-2022 investment of $15 Million into a Women in Construction Priority Program at DIR.
The grant funds complement the recently released Advancing Apprenticeship in California: A Five-Point Action Plan to expand the state’s number of apprentices to a half-million by 2029 with equity at the center of that strategy.
The Department of Industrial Relations’ Division of Apprenticeship Standards consults with employers to develop a skilled workforce, by establishing innovative apprenticeship programs that offer training, to create viable career pathways for Californians.
Contact: Communications@dir.ca.gov, (510) 286-1161