Pandemic Jobs Parents
A new program will assist women who are parents and have suffered job setbacks due to the pandemic. Photo credit: @sdworkforce, via Twitter

The San Diego Workforce Partnership was awarded $1.7 million to assist parents – specifically women and women of color – as they seek jobs after being affected by COVID-19, it was announced Thursday.

Parents, especially women, have faced long-term unemployment due to school closures and limited childcare opportunities during the pandemic. Many women have had to choose between staying in the workforce or caring for families.

The funds, awarded through the U.S. Department of Labor’s Dislocated Worker Grants program, were made possible through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. The program is known as Comprehensive and Accessible Reemployment Through Equitable Employment Recovery.

“The pandemic was a breaking point in a system that has failed to provide for the needs of women,” said partnership CEO Peter Callstrom. “Through the CAREER grant we plan to support parents and women by providing supportive services such as extended childcare, mental health services, training and career-transition support.

The grants, he said, “will benefit our entire community.”

The partnership plans to connect with the state’s Employment Development Department to identify those who have received unemployment insurance for six months or longer and have exhausted their unemployment benefits.

The YMCA Child Care Resource Service also will identify participants who are unemployed and seeking assistance through its childcare bridge program.

Participants will undergo assessments to uncover family strengths and needs so advisers can connect them with appropriate community partners.

The individuals also will have access to postsecondary school programs, including career and training options suitable to their interests, to assist with career transitions.

– City News Service