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Release Number: 2024-09
Date: February 5, 2024

California Invests in Earn-and-Learn Opportunities for Young People

DAS Solicits Proposals for $25 Million California Opportunity Youth Apprenticeship Grant

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: California is investing in our youth with new funding to create career pathways through earn-and-learn opportunities.

SACRAMENTO—The California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) and its Division of Apprenticeship Standards (DAS) announced the availability of $25 million to expand pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs to serve more opportunity youth—individuals aged 16-24 who are, or are at risk of being, disconnected from the education system or employment.

The California Opportunity Youth Apprenticeship (COYA) Grant will support existing apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs, as well as fund the development of new programs to serve opportunity youth.

Eligible applicants must have a history of at least two years of serving opportunity youth and have demonstrated successes in helping opportunity youth access employment. Entities eligible to apply include non-profit community-based organizations, workforce partners, labor unions and educational institutions.

COYA Grant funding is accessible to programs in sectors such as healthcare, education, advanced manufacturing, information technology, public sector, transportation and all sectors associated with the Interagency Advisory Committee on Apprenticeship (IACA), which includes all sectors outside the building trades.

WHY IT MATTERS: The COYA Grant will enable opportunity youth to explore and build in-demand skills, connect with employers hiring for those skills, and obtain the experience necessary to pursue a good-paying career within diverse sectors of the economy. This funding is part of Governor Newsom’s Master Plan on Career Education to adequately prepare students for the workforce of tomorrow that includes high-paying and fulfilling career paths that don’t require college degrees.

What DAS Deputy Chief Adele Burnes said: “This grant is a call to action to harness strong partnerships that will bring our shared vision of creating equitable career pathways, empowering the next generation of young professionals, and addressing the unmet need in the labor market.”

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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.

Media Contact: Communications@dir.ca.gov, (510) 286-1161