Building Skills Partnership and SEIU-USWW are currently accepting scholarship applications for the 2013-2014 school year for members and/or children of SEIU-USWW members who plan to continue their studies.
Recipient of 2013 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award
BSP’s Executive Director, Aida Cardenas, was recognized on February 4th by a resolution from the California State Senate for her work advancing innovative, effective solutions to critical state issues, for which she received a Leadership Award from the James Irvine Foundation.
The $125,000 Leadership Award presented by Senator Ricardo Lara will help Building Skills Partnership increase its work training over 2,000 immigrant janitors and other low-wage workers across California each year.
At a luncheon at Sacramento’s Sheraton Grand Hotel later on the Senate Floor, the James Irvine Foundation honored Cardenas’ ability to bring together unlikely allies- property owners including leading building owners, building service companies and the union representing their workers, Service Employees International Union – United Service Workers West (SEIU-USWW), to collaborate on providing training to janitors and other hardest-to-reach low-wage immigrant workers at their worksites. Senator Lara also spoke of his experience translating for his parents throughout his childhood and of the importance of giving immigrant adults opportunities to learn English and other life-changing skills.
2013 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award Recipients
By offering vocational ESL and other training on paid work-time, BSP helps workers in seven cities overcome traditional learning obstacles – juggling multiple jobs, lack of access to child care, family obligations, transportation issues, and other challenges associated with adjusting to a new country and culture.
“It’s unique that building owners and the union work together in this way. But when you prove that it is benefits all parties—improving companies’ bottom lines along with the quality of life of service workers—that’s a win-win,” says Martha Cox-Nitikman, Senior Director for Public Policy for the Building Owners and Managers Association of Greater Los Angeles (BOMA-GLA). In September, BSP was also honored with a national E-Pluribus Unum award by the Migration Policy Institute for offering innovative models for immigrant integration.
L.A. Citiview Channel 35 recently interviewed Aida Cardenas where she discussed BSP’s mission of providing training to low-wage property service workers. L.A. Cityview 35 is the government access cable television channel seen in the City of Los Angeles.
This high profile article follows an October article in the San Jose Mercury News that also describes how the one-on-one language and computer training helps Google janitors in their work and outside lives. Full article below:
Building Skills Partnership has received a grant of $15,000 from United Way of Greater Los Angeles to assist with Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Public School Choice 4.0. The goal of Public School Choice is to provide new opportunities for families and communities within LAUSD to improve their local public schools. Public School Choice strives to improve school performance and increase student achievement through innovative, efficient, and rigorous school plans that increase student achievement at underperforming schools and newly built schools. LAUSD is currently in its fourth year, and each round consists of applicant teams developing a school plan, conducting parents, high school students, and community outreach. This plan is submitted to LAUSD Superintendent for review/feedback and to approve implementation.
On March 6, BSP’s Executive Director, Aida Cardenas, participated as a panelist hosted by USC to discuss the role of state and metropolitan areas in immigrant integration. In the ongoing debate over U.S. immigration, a key policy consideration is the economic impact of immigrants and the role they play in the U.S. workforce. Long-term U.S. competitiveness depends on the economic contributions of immigrants and their children towards the nation’s productivity.
Ms. Cardenas presented on the uniqueness of BSP in providing vocational training in partnership with management and labor. Ms. Cardenas said, “the BSP is uniquely positioned to foster collaboration from its diverse allies and partners to address the needs of immigrants, including access to education for low-wage working workers, and their integration as members of the community. The BSP is founded on the premise that through the acquisition of vocational English training at the workplace and in partnership with employers, immigrant workers are able to expand their opportunities for economic equality through career advancement opportunities. This training meets both the demands from employers for skillful immigrant workforce, and janitors’ ability for economic prosperity through the acquisition of vocational English.” Any strategy to improve immigrant integration must address the central challenge that low-wage immigrant workers face; English language acquisition. At any skill level, language acquisition is perhaps the single most important determination of immigrant integration.
The BSP is the recipient of a technology grant from the Technology Training Foundation of America (TTFA). The TTFA works closely with provides public/private partnerships that help bridge the “digital divide” and create wider opportunities for underserved communities in our technological world. The BSP has already received 15 computers and 15 additional computers are expected within the next months. Through this generous support, medical the BSP will be able to offer to additional students its computer literacy program.
The BSP has received a continuation grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). Since 2008, buy the BSP has partnered with the CNCS to develop a strong relationship to strengthen the BSP and provide training to participants. As result of this relationship and its successes, the CNCS has awarded a continuation grant for 4 VISTA members. VISTA members commit to serve full-time for a year .
The BSP has received an 18-month grant from the California Service Employees Trust Fund (CSETF) totaling $96, viagra 234 to help sustain and expand its work providing preventive health education in addressing obesity, physician type 2 diabetes and other obesity related illnesses to 500 property service workers. The goal of the grant is to maintain a healthy workforce which will lead to the reduction of employer contributions to the rising costs associated with obesity and type 2 diabetes rates amongst this population.
The BSP will take a comprehensive approach to training and educating property service workers around health issues. By March 2013, 250 property service workers will have participated in the BSP Preventive Health Education: Steps to a Healthy Lifestyle Program at the workplace. Additionally, 250 workers will have participated in the BSP’s Health Fairs and Diabetes workshops at the work place and the union office.