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New funding for Canal Alliance’s workforce programs is intended to break the generational cycle of poverty for some low-income Latino immigrants in Marin County. Photo courtesy of Canal Alliance

   Canal Alliance has secured $524,161 in new funding for its workforce programs, which break the generational cycle of poverty for low-income Latino immigrants in Marin County. This grant is part of the AB628 Breaking Barriers to Employment Initiative and was awarded from the Foundation for California Community Colleges on behalf of the California Workforce Development Board. 

   Launched in 2018, Canal Alliance’s workforce programs respond to the need for workforce training programs effective in meeting the needs of low-income Latino immigrant workers. Programs include short-term certificate training programs and a Spanish-language small business development course. Short-term certificate training programs include those in construction and transit operation as well as an upcoming pilot certified nursing assistant training program. All programs are designed to help graduates secure living wage jobs with career path opportunities, while fulfilling the needs of Marin’s labor market. Partners critical in the implementation of these programs include College of Marin, Santa Rosa Junior College, Marin Builders Association, Golden Gate Transit and By the Bay Health. 

   Since its inception, Canal Alliance has served 264 clients on their way to career employment. This new grant will catalyze these efforts, funding the participation of 80 more enrollees. The grant will also strengthen Canal Alliance’s partnership with the California Workforce Development Board and connect its students to the services offered by California’s workforce system. 

   “We are elated for all the individuals that will benefit from this well-deserved grant for Canal Alliance,” said Rick Wells, CEO of Marin Builders Association. “This grant will help provide hard-working individuals with real-life opportunities for growth, connection, and advancement in the construction industry through the Construction Skills Certificate Program. The wraparound services provided by the Canal Alliance team are an integral part of continuously improving lives in our local community beyond the training component. Partnerships between education, industry and community are driving positive change here in Marin.” 

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