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Project

High Road Training Fund

At a Glance

JFF provides flexible, supplemental funding for California’s High Road Training Partnerships to advance job quality, economic equity, and climate resilience across the state. 

Contributors
Alison Schmitt Director
Kathryn Uhl Director
Mara Lockowandt Director
Analidia Torres Blakely Senior Manager
Sanjana Seth Senior Manager
Ashleigh Smallwood Manager
Cesilia Acevedo Program Manager
Lisa Soricone Senior Research Director 
Tara Smith Director
Practices & Centers

Challenge

California’s High Road Training Partnerships (HRTP) initiative is a multimillion dollar investment designed to advance the state’s high road vision for job quality, economic equity, and climate resilience. HRTPs need funding for efforts to promote labor market equity, create opportunities for economic advancement for all workers, provide training that helps workers build the skills high-road employers need, and drive long-term environmental sustainability for the state and its communities. In some cases, public funding isn’t available to cover all expenses and their only option may be to amend their budgets and reallocate funds originally earmarked for other uses. 

Approach

JFF and three California state agencies launched the High Road Training Fund (HRTF) in 2022 to augment public funding for HRTPs with money from private sources. The partnerships can turn to the fund for multi-year grants of up to $500,000 when they can’t use public dollars because of limitations on the use of public funds or delays resulting from waiting for the receipt of public funding. They can use the money to support growth and innovation and to ensure that they have the capacity to address systemic barriers that have prevented people in low-wage jobs from securing quality jobs.  

Results

In its first year, HRTF raised $5.47 million and subgranted to four High Road Training Partnerships that focused on expanding or building out new strategies and programming that benefit “opportunity youth,” young people ages 16-24 who are not enrolled in school or working. During its second year, the HRTF awarded large, flexible sub-grants to an additional four HRTPs. JFF and HRTF stakeholders also have worked closely together to explore ways to strengthen the state’s workforce development system through field-building events and publications, technical assistance to HRTPs, and partnerships with state agencies. 

Funders

The James Irvine Foundation

The California Wellness Foundation

The Younger Family Fund