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Assemblymember Arambula to Present $3 Million State Allocation to the Fresno Regional Workforce Development Board

For immediate release:
  • Felicia Matlosz
  • 559-304-9286

FRESNO, CA – Assemblymember Dr. Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno) on Wednesday, October 12, will present a $3 million check to the Fresno Regional Workforce Development Board to support its ValleyBuild construction program, which includes a ValleyBuild NOW (Non-traditional Occupations for Women) pre-apprenticeship training program for women that recently completed its first cohort.

The check presentation and news conference will begin at 9:00 a.m. at Workforce Connection, 3170 W. Shaw Ave., Suite 101, Fresno, CA 93711.

Assemblymember Arambula this year secured General Funds in the State budget for this allocation, which will help the Workforce Development Board increase its efforts through the ValleyBuild program that operates in 14 Central Valley counties, including Fresno County. The expanded efforts will include providing paid work experience for MC3 participants who are awaiting completion of required testing, acceptance into building trades apprenticeships, and then being hired by a construction contractor.

Other efforts will include providing needs-based stipends, starting a second ValleyBuild NOW cohort for women in 2023, and coordinating a mentoring program for women apprentices in construction.

Assemblymember Arambula said: “The Fresno Regional Workforce Development Board has a proven track record in helping underemployed and unemployed people enter different industries, and the ValleyBuild program focuses on construction. I’m happy to have secured $3 million in State funds for these efforts, which eliminate barriers so that the men and women who participate can aim for higher-paying jobs and better lives for themselves and their families – and that strengthens our regional economy and benefits us all.”

Blake Konczal, Executive Director of the Fresno Regional Workforce Development Board, said: “These funds will not only fund our MC3 pre-apprenticeship construction training, but they will also make such training a viable option for economically disadvantaged, underrepresented residents of the Great Central Valley. By providing stipends to participants while in training, trainees of all income levels can now take advantage of union construction apprenticeship readiness training. Most importantly, these same trainees will also have access to living wage careers in union construction -- with decent working conditions and good wages with benefits, including health insurance and retirement.

“Without the leadership of Assemblyman Arambula through legislation he authored, this expansion of our ValleyBuild Project would not be possible. We are sincerely grateful to him.”

Other speakers at the October 12 announcement are scheduled to include Ashley Matthews, Project Coordinator – Construction for the Workforce Development Board, and program participants.