Low-income Inland Empire residents will soon have access to training programs in property management, maintenance and other fields through National CORE and Chaffey College, thanks to $1 million in state funding secured by California Assemblymember James C. Ramos.
The funding will help launch CORE Academy – a workforce development initiative and partnership between National CORE and Chaffey College. The initiative will increase economic mobility and financial well-being for low-income workers, including residents of National CORE’s affordable housing communities, in order to bridge the equity gap that too often prevents career advancement opportunities. The funding is included in Assembly Bill 132, the postsecondary education trailer bill, which states that the funding will “support employment training, mentoring, and a pipeline to job placement for low-income individuals to enter the fields of property management, property maintenance, and other related industries.” The bill was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom July 27.
“Our state is facing historic challenges resulting from the economic devastation caused by the pandemic,” Ramos said. “Especially during times like these, we must create opportunities for everyone in our society to work well-paying jobs without subjecting themselves to a lifetime of debt. Workforce development programs like the CORE Academy are key to creating true economic mobility, and I’m proud to be part of this partnership.”
Property management and maintenance services are growing industries that currently employ millions of Americans, with hundreds of thousands of new, well-paying jobs constantly being added as new developments are built. This trend is anticipated to continue for decades to come. These careers do not require a college degree and have median salaries ranging from $35,000 to $70,000, opening opportunities for low-debt economic mobility. However, the complexities of property management must be learned through an extensive training and certification process, which can make the field inaccessible to low-income workers.
National CORE strives to transform lives and communities through the development of beautiful, affordable, and sustainable housing. With more and more much-needed housing being built to respond to California’s urgent housing affordability crisis, creating new jobs in property management and maintenance, CORE Academy will ensure that employees from all economic backgrounds are prepared to fill these positions. The Hope through Housing Foundation will play a key role in engaging affordable housing residents in CORE Academy as a tool to build new career paths.
“Thanks to the hard work of Assemblyman James Ramos, who prioritized this important program, CORE Academy can now begin changing lives by opening new career opportunities for thousands of Inland Empire residents,” said National CORE CEO and President Steve PonTell. “CORE Academy is near and dear to our hearts because it will provide better access to job opportunities and increase financial stability for our residents and communities across the Inland Empire.”
In the wake of the pandemic, there has been a nationwide labor supply shortage, which many studies have linked to the “job skills gap” – a mismatch between the skills employers are seeking, and the skills of the workforce. Workforce development programs, made possible through partnerships between employers like National CORE and community colleges like Chaffey College, remove the educational barriers that create the job skills gap, ushering in increased economic mobility, a healthier economy, and more equitable society.
“Chaffey College seeks to improve lives through education, and that is exactly what CORE Academy will do,” said Dr. Henry Shannon, President/Superintendent of Chaffey College. “I am so excited for the countless individuals who will unlock new careers and opportunities by enrolling in this program.”