Today's Law As Amended

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AB-630 Online Jobs and Economic Support Resource Grant Program.(2021-2022)

As Amends the Law Today

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) As we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, Californians need a clear, accessible tool to help access information and resources that will help them remain on their feet during a time of unfathomable economic uncertainty.
(b) Growing inequality, which disproportionately impacts communities of color, and the erosion of upward mobility in California, call for state policy to be intensely focused on increasing economic opportunity and security for all Californians.
(c) Communities of color are being hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic caused by COVID-19. Studies show persons in communities of color are contracting the virus at much greater rates and also being hit hardest by the economic fallout and unemployment.
(d) Disparities in the economic toll nationally were nearly immediate in the spring of 2020. In May, the numbers were already dire. A report by the United States Department of Labor revealed that while the unemployment rate for Whites reached 14.2 percent in April, a historic high, 16.7 percent of African Americans were out of work and the unemployment rate among Latinos soared to 18.9 percent, the highest on record.
(e) Since beginning to rise from the depth of the pandemic, recovery has not been equal for all, with the racial employment gap widening. Data from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics show that while the unemployment rate for Whites 16 years of age and older has fallen to 5.8 percent, unemployment rates for African Americans and Latinos are at 9.9 percent and 8.7 percent, respectively.
(f) No matter when a declaration of recovery is made, the reality is that it will be a recovery for the most privileged two-thirds of people in the United States.
(g) There is an urgent need to create pathways for the state, private business, philanthropic organizations, and others to financially support inclusive planning and decisionmaking processes reflective of a shared vision of a California for all, across the state’s underserved regions for investment.

SEC. 2.

 Article 9 (commencing with Section 12100.100) is added to Chapter 1.6 of Part 2 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, to read:

Article  9. Online Jobs and Economic Support Resource Grant Program
 (a) There is hereby created, in the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, the Online Jobs and Economic Support Resource Grant Program for the purpose of supporting inclusive, cross-jurisdictional, and innovative online platforms that support job and earnings opportunities and economic recovery with a strong focus on underserved and economically challenged communities.
(b) The goals of the program are to achieve all of the following:
(1) Support Californians impacted by job loss due to COVID-19 and shorten the overall average period of unemployment statewide.
(2) Provide pathways to rapid redeployment of workers to needed industries and reskilling of workers to help offset the impact of worker displacement.
(3) Uplift Californians and aid in the economic recovery of the state and increase the economic mobility of workers in the lower one-third of earners.
 (a) An eligible applicant shall be either a nonprofit, a cooperative, public benefit corporation, or a local government, that meets the other requirements of this article.
(b) An eligible applicant shall have all of the following.
(1) A robust, targeted outreach plan to ensure amplification of, and access to, the online platform by communities hardest hit by job loss amidst the pandemic, including minorities and economically disadvantaged Californians.
(2) Experience serving underrepresented and underserved populations.
(3) The ability to collaborate with stakeholders and partners across California including, but not limited to, regional workforce boards, appropriate state agencies, and statewide training providers.
(4) The ability to maintain an online platform that shall, at a minimum:
(A) Contain search functions to connect users with the following:
(i) Economic opportunities, prioritizing high-road, high-quality jobs.
(ii) Training programs that offer the ability to develop new skills and to expand on existing skills.
(iii) Support services including free or reduced-cost services for medical care, food, shelter, and child care.
(B) Be capable of serving a region or the entire state.
(C) Comply with applicable California privacy laws, as identified by the office.
(D) Be provided at no charge to intended clients.
 (a) The office shall develop and implement a process to award competitive grants to eligible applicants that meet the requirements of this article. At a minimum, the process shall require eligible applicants to provide all of the following:
(1) A demonstration of the capability of the online platform and documentation of how the platform is, or will be, integrated within workforce or economic development activities.
(2) A proposal narrative that includes how the platform is, or will be, integrated within the workforce or economic development activities of the applicant or partnering entity.
(3) An explanation of the specific purpose and goals of the grant funds, the roles and responsibilities of the applicant and partners, if any, and a discussion of how funds will be used and success will be measured, the number of individuals who will be served, and the services that will be available to these individuals.
(4) Documentation that each partnering entity has agreed to the activities in the grant proposal.
(5) The designation of one or more targeted populations that will be served by the online platform.
(6) The designation of a service area, which may include one or more regions, or be statewide.
(7) Evidence of demonstrated experience in working with the proposed target populations, especially if the targeted population has been historically disenfranchised or underserved. This requirement may be demonstrated by the identification of partners in the application.
(8) A proposed budget.
(9) A proposed impact assessment and timeline, including progress reports and final deliverables.
(b) Funds awarded pursuant to this article may only be used by a grant recipient for the following expenses.
 A grant recipient shall be required to submit an annual report to the office on how it used the grant funding it was issued that includes all of the following:
(a) The number of individuals who used the online platform.
(b) A description of the resources created to support job and earning opportunities, training sessions, and support services.
(c) Aggregate demographic data on the program’s users amongst underserved and underrepresented communities, including users from disadvantaged and severely disadvantaged communities.
(d) Employment and business development outcomes.
 Upon appropriation of funds by the Legislature to the office for the purpose of implementing this article, the office shall make grants to qualified applicants consistent with Section 12100.102. The office shall post notice of the appropriation on the home page of its internet website and send notice of the appropriation to the Legislative Counsel.