West Palm Beach Racial & Ethnic Equality Action Summit 2021

Education and Workforce Development Policy Recommendations

To reduce racial and ethnic disparities, the Education and Workforce Development Subcommittee identified the following priorities of focus: Improving offerings of career development, workforce training, and education opportunities for youth and adults; elevating the quality of resources for under-resourced schools by attracting and retaining qualified teachers and improving school supports.

Under these priorities, the Task Force proposes the following policy recommendations:

Last Updated: September 20, 2021

Education and Workforce Development Policy Recommendations

Recommendation: Improve information sharing and outreach for access to existing education, career, and workforce opportunities

Partner with community leaders and organizations (e.g., houses of worship, fraternities, sororities, Northend RISE) to increase community knowledge of all the resources, including providing them to parents for school-aged children. Support organizations that provide these opportunities by exploring increasing funding for marketing campaigns and identifying resident program candidates.

  • Create an easily accessible, interactive, robust database with up-to-date descriptions of available after-school or educational resources as well as information about upcoming jobs, workforce development, and educational opportunities for citizens, businesses, and schools
  • Promote database and information on city’s website with interactive options for small businesses to register and post information to promote their businesses and hire locally
  • Hold educational seminars in public housing communities and regular job fairs in minority communities with minority professionals

Recommendation: Leverage business, philanthropic, and private partnerships and offer incentives to businesses to support workforce development and education programs

  • Work with businesses, foundations, and other entities in trending or high-demand industries to hire workforce development candidates and develop scholarships and training to support these programs
  • Possible entities include Downtown Development Authority, Business Development Board, Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches, Southside Business Association, and Black Business Investment Corporation

Recommendation: Develop strategies to address barriers that people have faced when trying to access workforce training or career development programs

Improve and explore opportunities for transportation methods with partners, housing programs, and childcare services locally, especially in neighborhoods with high minority populations

  • Establish community-based, centrally located career services
  • Partner with CareerSouce and local banks (e.g., Flagler Bank, Seacoast Bank) to offer digital literacy and financial literacy courses at community centers and Mandel Library
  • Collaborate with educational institutions to recruit volunteers for information-sharing

Recommendation: Create a Community Engagement-Foundation Liaison staff position in the Mayor’s Office to work closely with the business and foundation community to facilitate funding for initiatives

Fund a dedicated Community Engagement-Foundation Liaison staff position with the goal of partnering with relevant entities (e.g., including but not limited to businesses, chambers of commerce, CareerSource) to offer more robust leadership programs, summer job offerings, shadowing programs, and internships, and career readiness courses for youth and young adults of all ages

  • Partner with trade unions and trade employers to create a pipeline from trade schools and workforce development programs to jobs, including volunteer youth trade programs
  • Recommend robust data collection and follow up on the efficacy of these partnerships and workforce development programs (i.e., is this field in high demand, are businesses hiring the candidates after trial periods, etc.?)
  • Seek opportunities such as tax credits to businesses to hire West Palm Beach students and residents
  • Prioritize offering resources to first-generation students and residents of all income levels and document statuses

Recommendation: Create an Education Liaison coordination team in the Mayor’s Office to support the schools with resources and advocate on behalf of teachers and students

  • Focus on strengthen relationships between the high schools and the city
  • Increase the distribution of resources by exploring sustainable funding sources that support literacy and enrichment programs
  • Invest specifically in children services counseling, childcare support, and transportation support
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