Building Skills Partnership

BSP Awarded 2017 Equity Grant from the San Francisco Foundation

BSP is proud to partner with the San Francisco Foundation to create a more equitable Bay Area. As a recipient of this year’s Equity Grants, BSP will advance immigrant workers in Alameda County into better job and career opportunities.

BSP Receives Grant from the OC Opportunity Initiative for Citizenship Outreach

BSP has just been awarded a grant from the OC Opportunity Initiative. This $40,000 grant will continue to support and expand our education, outreach, and legal services to vulnerable populations in Santa Ana, Garden Grove, Orange, Fullerton, and Anaheim Counties. We are proud to work with the OC Opportunity Initiative and the Orange County Community Foundation on this important initiative.



HABLA Classes Launch at Stanford


HABLA Dia and Noche classes are underway, thanks to the partnership of Stanford University, Palo Alto Adult School, and SEIU!

This unique program connects Stanford students with the custodians who work at the university to build confidence in English language skills. The program fosters the relationship between the students and the worker as well as empowers the worker with English language literacy through one-on-one tutoring.





BSP Receives Grant Through the California Latino Age Wave Initiative


BSP has received a two-year grant of $50,000 from Hispanics in Philanthropy (HIP), The Atlantic Philanthropies, The California Wellness Foundation and The SCAN Foundation through the California Latino Age Wave Initiative (CALAWI). This grant will increase BSP’s capacity and programming to better serve aging Latino immigrants in California. The objective of this project is to develop organizational approaches for integrating Latino older adults into existing work in the following areas: (1) preventative health, (2) citizenship & immigration advocacy and (3) financial education for retirement.  Through this project, BSP will continue working with janitors, who as service workers are one of the hardest to reach populations, and even more difficult for older workers above age 50.

BSP Highlighted as a Best Practice Model by Brookings Institute

"Immigration Reform: What's Next for Cities and Metros"

On July 22, 2013, BSP’s Executive Director, Aida Cardenas, was a guest panelist at the Brooking Institute Metropolitan Policy Program to discuss immigrant integration. The discussion examined the potential impact of immigration reform legislation on local areas and highlighting innovative initiatives from around the country. BSP was highlighted as a best practice model. The program included remarks from Cecilia Muñoz, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council and Brookings senior fellow, Audrey Singer.



Aida Cardenas featured on UCLA Website

UCLA_Aida HomepageBSP’s Executive Director, Aida Cardenas, is featured on UCLA Website for her contributions to ensuring property service workers have access to training and education. “She was embraced by the janitors and won the respect of her colleagues for her hard work and dedication,” said Kent Wong.

To read story click here:

BSP on “The World”, National Radio Show



BSP’s training programs for janitors at large high tech companies were highlighted in the radio feature “Silicon Valley Immigrant Janitors Learning English at Work“, which not only aired on BBC’s national weekly radio news magazine called “The World,” but also on various NPR stations in California.

At Google, Cisco, Microsoft, Stanford University and other leading Silicon Valley worksites, corporate engineers, undergraduate students, or other volunteers tutor janitors one-on-one to help them practice English, prepare for citizenship exams, or learn to use computers. This innovative practice as well as BSP’s expansion statewide have been recognized nationally by the Migration Policy Institute and with a prestigious James Irvine Foundation statewide leadership award.

By offering training at janitors’ worksites, BSP ensures that its hardest to reach members receive what for many is a second (if not first) chance at education. “Before I worked here, I had three works (jobs), and I didn’t have time for school,” said an ABM janitor originally from Mexico, who now works at Google.

To listen on The World segment above: World in Words Podcast (Begins at 2:50 mark)
To listen on BBC Radio click here: BBC World Service (Begins at 1:02 mark)

BSP Joins Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in Workforce Symposium


On April 23, 2013, BSP’s Executive Director, Aida Cardenas, joined Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in the Workforce Leadership Symposium – Turning Vision into Action. As a City and County Workforce Investment Board Member, Aida spoke about the future of workforce development in Los Angeles and specifically about how union-negotiated training funds can catalyze effective training partnerships between employers, unions, and other industry stakeholders. The symposium highlighted current practices to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Los Angeles workforce system by pooling resources and integrating services, bringing training for the economy’s growing industries to scale, and best practices for workplace training.

Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa delivered the keynote address to recognize the City of Los Angeles Workforce Investment Board and its members for their dedication and commitment to workforce development for the people of Los Angeles. “A job is more than a paycheck, it is a sense of purpose,” Mayor Villaraigosa said. As part of the Mayor’s address, the Mayor challenged employers to get involved with the “Getting L.A. Back 2 Work” campaign, announcing the receipt of a $13.7 million National Emergency Grant through the Department of Labor aimed at training and hiring an additional 2,000 or more displaced L.A. workers.

For more information about the symposium:

BSP Receives Grant from Western Digital Foundation

Western Digital


Western Digital has granted BSP a $9,000 grant through its WD Foundation to support BSP’s computer literacy classes in Santa Clara County for janitors or other low-wage building service workers or their families. BSP’s computer classes are mostly offered on Saturdays to accommodate the schedules of janitors who work late nights and often juggle multiple jobs during the week. BSP’s computer literacy program in Silicon Valley was highlighted in a Radio Bilingue segment entitled “Next to the great inventors, janitors learn the ABC of computers in Silicon Valley” that you can listen to in Spanish or read in English.  BSP thanks the WD Foundation for helping BSP close the stark digital divide in Silicon Valley.

United Way of Greater L.A. Education Summit 2013: Aida Cardenas Participates as a Discussion Leader

On Wednesday, February 27, United Way of Greater Los Angeles hosted a national discussion with key leaders on how to strengthen low-performing schools through partnerships in the classrooms and in communities. Aida Cardenas participated as a discussion leader and shared BSP’s commitment to education.

The summit included a panel discussion with “The Education Mayors”: Cory Booker, Mayor of Newark, Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of Chicago and Antonio Villaraigosa, Mayor of Los Angeles. A morning panel discussion was held with Eli Broad, Founder of the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, Dr. John Deasy, Superintendent of LAUSD, Móníca Garcia, President of LAUSD School Board and Casey Wasserman, President and CEO of the Wasserman Foundation.