About Us

The California Workforce Development Board (CWDB) was established in 1998, as outlined in the federal Workforce Investment Act (WIA). In 2014, the WIA was replaced by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which outlines the vision and structure through which state workforce training and education programs are funded and administered regionally and locally.

The CWDB is responsible for the oversight and continuous improvement of the workforce system in California, which encompasses a wide array of work, including: policy development; workforce support and innovation; and performance assessment, measurement and reporting.

WIOA mandates the creation of a statewide strategic workforce plan. In 2016, the CWDB, in conjunction with its statewide partners, released the Unified Strategic State Plan, which was then updated in 2018. This plan is built around three policy objectives, which are intended to guide state policy and practice across partner programs, as well as inform local policy and service delivery. These objectives are:

    • Fostering demand-driven skills attainment
    • Enabling upward mobility for all Californians
    • Aligning, coordinating and integrating programs and services

The State Plan outlines specific strategies with which to achieve these overarching strategic goals. To read an executive summary, or the State Plan in full, visit the State Plan page in the Plans and Policies section of the website.

In conjunction with the State Plan, the CWDB manages multiple grants and initiatives aimed at reorienting and realigning California’s workforce programs and institutions, to support a dynamic and globally successful state economy that offers all residents an opportunity for a higher quality of life. To learn more about the CWDB’s current initiatives, visit the Initiatives page.

All members of the Board are appointed by the Governor and represent the many facets of workforce development: business, labor, public and higher education, economic development, youth activities, employment and training, and legislative affairs. The Board meets on a regular basis and the public is encouraged to attend the meetings, the dates and agendas for which can be found under State Board, Meetings and Archives.

The statewide workforce development system is comprised of 45 Local Areas, each with its own Local Workforce Development Board. Learn more about Local Workforce Development Boards and America’s Job Centers of California under Local Boards.

CWDB Vision
A California economy defined by equity, quality jobs, and climate resiliency.

Our Work
The California Workforce Development Board works in partnership with workers, employers, local workforce development boards, education partners, and other stakeholders to build an inclusive High Road economy defined by equity and quality jobs with accessible pathways to them; particularly for disadvantaged Californians who have been systemically locked out of economic prosperity and face barriers to employment.

Learn more about our branches below.

Executive Leadership

  • Kaina Pereira, Executive Director
  • Vacant, Chief Deputy Director
  • Vacant, Deputy Director, Equity, Climate and Jobs
  • Joelle Ball,  Deputy Director, Program Implementation & Regional Support
  • Pradeep KotamrajuDeputy Director, Research, Policy, and Legislation
  • Emily Sunahara, Deputy Director, Operations & Policy Implementation
  • Brooke Barnum-Roberts, Attorney

Program Implementation & Regional Support

The Program Implementation and Regional Support Branch is charged with guiding innovation-related policy and practice to advance the state’s broad labor market goals of shared prosperity and income mobility through grant making initiatives. In providing technical assistance to key partners in the state’s various regions, this branch works to foster the continuous improvement and implementation of best practices for those elements of the system.

Deputy Director

  • Joelle BallDeputy Director, Program Implementation & Regional Support

Policy, Research and Legislation Branch

The Research, Policy, and Legislation Branch is responsible for conducting policy and program review for the CWDB in order to build a comprehensive state system and foster its continuous improvement. This function is achieved primarily through the development of policy recommendations and the identification and dissemination of information concerning best practices.

Deputy Director

Equity, Climate, and Jobs Field Branch

The Equity, Climate, and Jobs Field Branch is tasked with engaging partners to advance an integrated approach to labor, workforce and economic policy. This approach includes a commitment to equity, sustainability, and job quality and enlists the following four elements: industry led problem solving; partnerships as a priority; worker wisdom; and industry driven education and training solutions.

Deputy Director

  • Vacant, Deputy Director, Equity, Climate and Jobs

Operations & Policy Implementation

The Operations & Policy Implementation Branch is responsible for providing operational and administrative support for the CWDB; ensuring compliance with federal WIOA and state reporting and fiscal requirements. Including but not limited to: CWDB budget development and oversight, administrative matters pertaining to hiring and termination, procurement of goods and services, grant administrative matters, and program logistics.

Deputy Director

  • Emily Sunahara, Deputy Director, Operations & Policy Implementation