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City’s Workforce Development Program Helps Over 350 Local Job Seekers

Grant-funded initiative boosted careers in the early childhood sector

Feb. 28, 2023

The City of Albuquerque Economic Development Department (EDD) recently concluded a pilot grant program focused on creating new employment pathways for workers in the early childhood education sector. According to a third-party evaluation, the Workforce Development Systems Improvement to Increase Employment Equity initiative met key performance goals, including serving 362 early childhood education job seekers, 94 percent of whom reported being low-income.

The project was funded by a $450,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The grant program sought to support jobseekers from underserved communities by improving the alignment and available resources for early childhood career pathways to help build a more dynamic and equitable economy. The pilot connected jobseekers to training offerings by program partners, scholarship and educational incentive opportunities, career fairs, and other employment support.

“We recognize that lower-income residents, immigrants, and people of color often experience unfavorable educational and employment circumstances,” said Max Gruner, Economic Development Director. “Supporting people with the tools they need not only helps the individual, but the entire community as we work to fill gaps in the system and bolster our workforce for essential sectors.”

“We’re working to make sure that as our city grows, we’re building an economy that works for everyone,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “This means having programs in place, and using initiatives like this one, to provide the resources folks need to grow in their careers.”

The Workforce Development Systems Improvement to Increase Employment Equity:

  • Piloted career navigation services to connect over 100 participants to training programs, scholarships, and job opportunities,
  • Expanded the City of Albuquerque’s Job Training Albuquerque (JTA) efforts to provide paid job training opportunities and industry credentials for 85 early childhood educators,
  • Hosted community events to engage and educate jobseekers about available opportunities and career advancement resources,
  • Led monthly multi-disciplinary and cross-sector convenings of stakeholders in the fields of economic development, workforce development, and early childhood education.