English Language Learners Navigator Initiative


Serving English Language Learners in the Workforce System

California is home to one in four of the nation’s immigrant population. Foreign-born individuals account for 92 percent of California’s ELL population, while the remaining 8 percent of the state’s ELL population are native-born individuals. Immigrants and English Learners face cultural, language and other barriers that limit access and opportunities to complete job-training programs.
In an effort to better serve the ELL and immigrant workforce population, we will be using this page to share Resources. Please check back frequently.

ELL Co-enrollment Pilot (2019 – 2020)

The Labor and Workforce Development Agency, California Workforce Development Board and the Employment Development Department awarded $1.2 million in Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) for the ELL Co-Enrollment Pilots. These funds will support projects that increase access for target populations, align WIOA programs, implement co-enrollment strategies, leverage other program funding and provide supportive services for California’s English Language Learner (ELL) population.

Please see below for information regarding the project.

Request for Applications (RFA)

Award Announcement (May 2019)

ELL Navigator Pilot (2017-2018)

The California Labor and Workforce Development Agency and the California Workforce Development Board awarded $2.5 million to five local workforce boards to implement a workforce navigator pilot program to help English language learners and immigrant workers with career and supportive services that lead to jobs. The project focused on aligning job training, adult education and support services for individuals with limited English-language proficiency.

The navigator program provided case management and referrals to support services helping immigrants and those with language barriers receive the education and skills needed. Below are resources associated with the ELL Navigator Pilot.

ELL Navigator Technical Assistance Page includes resources such as:

  • Overview of Pilot Sites
  • Pilot Developed Tools
  • Resources from convening’s and much more.

FINAL Evaluation of the ELL Navigator Pilot 2017-2018

2016 Inaugural English Language Learner Convening

Presentations and Other Resources Shared at Convening

Webinars & Presentations

Making Sure WIOA Works for Populations with Barriers to Employment (June 2019)

Making Sure WIOA Works for Populations with Barriers to Employment (2018) 

Pathway to Services Presentation (2018) 

How to serve Farmworkers in Workforce (2017)

How to serve Immigrants, Refugees and English Language Learners in Workforce (2017)

July 2016 ELL Convening in Sacramento and Subsequent Webinar Training for CBOs Regarding the WIOA Planning Process

Making Sure WIOA Works for Populations with barriers to Employment: California’s Obligations and Opportunities in Serving Immigrant and Refugee Jobseekers


Policy Brief: Serving English Language Learners Using Best Practices and Model Partnerships

How To Serve ELLs Bibliography

EDD Directive WSD18-03: Pathways to Services, Referral, and Enrollment

To subscribe to future updates and information, send an email to ELL@CWDB.CA.GOV and put “Add Me” in the subject line.