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The Unity Council is pleased to have been selected for a California Workforce Accelerator Fund 7.0 grant for its project, “Connecting Immigrant Workers to Unionized Trades.” The award of $135,000 will help The Unity Council, in partnership with the Building and Constructions Trades Council of Alameda County and several other partners, develop a toolkit for effective outreach and recruitment of non-English speakers and immigrants into the unionized construction and building trades.

With multi-million dollar construction projects coming down the pipeline in Alameda County, there simply are not enough trained up construction workers ready to meet the demand. There is a real opportunity to meet a labor shortage and build living-wage careers for this vulnerable population.

Meanwhile, immigrant job-seekers face real barriers to accessing the high-growth industry of construction and building trades. Many have experience in construction and building in their home country, and may be participating in a non-union labor force. A range of immigration statuses means that employers and workforce development organizations cannot employ a “one-size-fits-all” strategy to recruit, train, and hire immigrant workers. Employers and unions differ in their approach to legally employing or permitting union membership to undocumented workers, and there is little clarity among workforce development professionals or resources available to immigrant workers to address these barriers.

This project will identify the specific resource gaps that inhibit the hiring of these workers by construction and building trades. Social Research Policy Associates, an evaluation, technical assistance, and facilitation services firm will help us research and evaluate the impact of this project.

This project will culminate with resource tool-kit that can be shared state-wide, and will be specifically shared with Workforce Development Boards to align funding models with the strategies identified in the report.

For more information, contact Armando Hernandez, Director of Community Programs: