West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon, the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) and Wells Fargo joined in an event today to celebrate a 2015 First Place CommunityWINS℠ (Working/Investing in Neighborhood Stabilization) Grant Award for small-sized cities.
An award in the amount of $150,000 was presented to the West Sacramento Foundation for The FutureReady Program – which connects students studying engineering, science and technology to work-based learning internships and job training. The award is part of a nationwide Community WINS℠ Program made possible by a grant from USCM and the Wells Fargo Foundation collaboration.
“Our prosperity as a community depends on our young people getting access to 21st Century skills, technical training, workplace experience, and quality teaching and learning,” said Mayor Cabaldon, who leads the FutureReady steering committee. “We’re launching an ambitious initiative in partnership with companies and schools, with a promise that our community’s employers will guarantee a paid internship for every high school student who is on track in a high-quality pathway that both prepares them for college and gives them strong skills in one of our fast-growing job sectors. Winning this prestigious national competition is the essential starter fuel to power our success. This is our best hope of closing the skills gap between our workforce and our emerging jobs, and of making education relevant for teens as part of a suite of initiatives to turn our whole city into a classroom.”
The 2015 CommunityWINS℠ awards include monetary grants to city-based nonprofit organizations and recognize mayors for exemplary leadership in developing local programs that promote long-term economic prosperity and improve the quality of life for residents in three categories: neighborhood stabilization, economic development, and job creation. An independent panel of judges, selected by The U.S. Conference of Mayors, determined the six winning cities from a pool of 162 applicants in three population groups — small, medium and large.
“Our students deserve every opportunity to develop the skills they need to be college and career ready,” said Washington Unified Superintendent Linda C. Luna. “FutureReady does a great job of expanding on classroom instruction by immersing our kids in relevant, real-world work applications, keeping them motivated and on track to graduate with the skills they need to enter the 21st century workforce.”
Junior and senior high school students in the Engineering, Science and Technology Academy at River City High School will be provided high-quality, work-based learning opportunities that align with their curriculum. Through paid internships with local engineering, science and advanced-manufacturing companies, students will be prepared for success in an entry level job and/or post-secondary education. Employers will benefit by having increased access to a local labor pool that has completed industry-relevant academic coursework and has previous on-the-job experience.
Tom Cochran, CEO and Executive Director of the U.S. Conference of Mayors commented, “Our 2015 CommunityWINS Grant Program gives the Conference an opportunity to showcase positive change happening now in our cities to make a difference in the lives of residents. We are grateful to Wells Fargo and the Wells Fargo Foundation for their support of the CommunityWINS Program, which also highlights the talent and commitment of mayors and city governments.”
“Wells Fargo is delighted to collaborate with the U.S. Conference of Mayors to make this grant available for the West Sacramento Foundation that will enable the nonprofit to make vital improvements and strengthen the neighborhood,” said David Galasso, Lead Regional President, Wells Fargo Northern and Central California. “Wells Fargo cares about the communities we serve and we’re inspired by the City of West Sacramento’s interest in the inaugural CommunityWINS grant program that will add up to make a big difference in helping revitalize neighborhoods.”
For more information on the 2015 CommunityWINS℠ Grant Awards recipients go to www.usmayors.org/communitywins