Workforce Accelerator Fund

Workforce Accelerator Fund


The California Workforce Development Board and the Employment Development Department funded projects that design, develop, and implement projects that accelerate employment and re-employment strategies for California job seekers. The State Board and EDD will fund projects and partnerships to create and prototype innovative strategies that bridge education and workforce gaps for targeted populations, and initial implementation of promising models and practices in workforce system service delivery infrastructure.

Projects accelerate skill development, employment, and reemployment for one or more target populations.

Workforce Accelerator Fund Goals:

  • Improve labor market and skills outcomes for the target groups through the development of strategies that fill gaps, accelerate processes, or customize services to ensure greater access to workforce services and employment opportunities.
  • Implement, replicate and scale successful innovations that emerged from previous Accelerator projects.
  • Create new modes for service delivery and funding alignment that can be replicated across the State and tailored to regional needs.
  • Leverage State investment with commitments from industry, labor, public, and community partners.

Workforce Accelerator Fund 9.0

The goal of Accelerator 9.0 is to impact economic and racial equity by creating pathways to quality jobs for workers from disadvantaged or low-income communities. Traditional workforce and education strategies have had inadequate impact. Even promising strategies lack the speed, agility, or scale needed to accelerate employment for workers desperately in need of good jobs.

Accelerator 9.0 is consistent with past Accelerator Initiatives, but it also departs in important ways. In the context of the High Road approach, 9.0 seeks projects that blend innovative approaches to three program areas in ways that can be scaled and replicated. The three program areas are:

  • Make high growth jobs better jobs by working with employers to improve job quality
  • Create income security and/or upward mobility for current workers
  • Connect or “bridge” workforce programs directly to where the quality jobs are

Successful Accelerator 9.0 projects will not in themselves be the definition of a High Road project, but will utilize principles, in part or in whole, that reflect the Strategic Plan’s High Road vision for workforce development:

Quality Jobs – Identify employers (public or private) that offer quality jobs in sectors that are driving regional employment. A quality job, among other traits, provides a living wage, comprehensive employer-provided medical benefits, predictable scheduling, a safe and just work environment, worker voice and agency in the job, ongoing employer investment in paid on-the-job training and career advancement.

Equity – target workers from disadvantaged populations or low-income communities, 5 with emphasis on immigrants, people of color, and the housing insecure.

System Alignment– Includes workforce boards, public schools and colleges, social services agencies, etc. Mission-driven CBOs that are closest to the target populations play a prominent role in recruitment, counseling, and providing other relevant supports. Unions, businesses, and public sector employers that help create pathways to good quality jobs and provide skills training, including apprenticeship and other earn-and-learn strategies, are also critical system partners.

Workforce Accelerator Fund: At a Glance

Practical Lessons from Accelerator 1.0 – 4.0 – Innovative Solutions, Project Successes, and Learning Experiences
Accelerator 1.0 – 2.0 Dashboard
Accelerator 3.0 – 4.0 Dashboard

Promising Practices Briefs: The Secrets to Success – Intro, The Influencer, Technical Assistance, and Networks

Workforce Accelerator Fund 9.0 Award Announcements
To view the award announcements: WAF 9.0 Award Announcements

Workforce Accelerator Fund 8.0 Award Announcements
To view the award announcements: WAF 8.0 Award Announcements

Workforce Accelerator Fund 7.0 Award Announcements
To view the award announcements: WAF 7.0 Award Announcements

Workforce Accelerator Fund 6.0 Award Announcements
To view the award announcement: WAF 6.0 Award Announcements

Workforce Accelerator Fund 5.0 Award Announcements
To view the award announcements: WAF 5.0 Award Announcements