The City of Berkeley is building on the successes of its model employment linkage program, First Source, to develop a local one-stop employment center, Berkeley WorkSource. WorkSource will implement the Department of Labor's one-stop employment center directive by including the rich network of existing community-based service providers in Berkeley.
Since 1986, First Source has employed the unique strategy of brokering relationships between local employers, workers, and community-based employment service providers by capitalizing on the City's connections to local business through economic development activity. The result is the placement of over 260 low income Berkeley residents and homeless people each year.
In 1995, impending federal workforce legislation prompted the City to take the proactive step of combining its youth (YouthWorks) and adult (First Source) employment programs into a one-stop employment center called Berkeley WorkSource. With the help of a local foundation, the Berkeley Community Fund, WorkSource immediately began a community engagement process with the Berkeley Training and Employment Collaborative (BTEC), a collaborative of community-based employment service providers and educational institutions. Out of this collaborative, WorkSource left behind its role as bureaucratic agency and overcame the natural tension between the City and City-funded community-based organizations. Local job trainers have recognized the quality and value of the City program and have chosen WorkSource to lead and represent the needs of the collaborative. The City program was elevated by the BTEC to compete on its behalf for designation as a one-stop employment center. The one-stop will be the new vehicle for federal funding of job training, and the organizations whose jobs are on the line have chosen First Source to lead. The fact that a City program has been chosen by community groups to lead the one-stop is considered a solid demonstration of the City's ability to break down barriers between community-based and governmental agencies in order to implement a federal directive on the local level.
WorkSource represents a unique fusion between city economic development policy and human services delivery. Currently administered through the City's Health and Human Services Department, WorkSource provides a link to critical client support services, while the program initiator, the Office of Economic Development, still plays a strong role in the ongoing implementation of the program. Linking human services to economic development addresses both sides of the unemployment issue -- supply of prepared workers and demand from employers.
The community-based support garnered in Berkeley for the federal one-stop directive will allow the City to create an effective coordinated employment service delivery system for both job seekers and employers. Additionally, welfare reform and school-to-work efforts will rely on connecting disconnected potential workers to employers. Through WorkSource, the City of Berkeley is creating these connections.
The East Bay Public Safety Corridor Partnership was born in a bloody weekend of 23 drive-by shootings, mostly by teenagers against teenagers. The violence of that weekend drove home the statistics showing that homicide was the leading cause of death of youth in our communities. The sheer magnitude of what was happening on the streets and the impotence of local law enforcement in the face of the problem led to the formation of the Partnership, a unique collaborative that works across jurisdictional boundaries using multiple disciplines.
Today, the Partnership includes l.5 million people in 27 cities, two counties, 18 school districts and 23 law enforcement agencies extending 70-plus miles from the Carquinez Bridge to Fremont along the I-80/880 freeway. The Partnership's mission is "to reduce crime and violence in the Corridor in order to create a safer, healthier and more economically viable environment."
The key to the Partnership's success is the voluntary participation of multiple jurisdictions with a shared understanding that crime does not respect jurisdictional lines, and a common purpose and willingness to find creative and practical solutions to these problems without adding additional layers of government. By participating, each member of the Partnership does not give up any of the usual rights of their jurisdiction. Jurisdictions participate because they want to, because they see the value of that participation.
Guided by a council of mayors, city managers, state legislators, police chiefs, school district representatives, youth and county administrators, the Partnership has developed a regional, comprehensive strategy that addresses both law enforcement and prevention of crime. Working together, the partners have leveraged nearly $30 million in public and private dollars for investment in the area.
An example of the collaborative's prevention programs is the development of the Corridor's 12-point Comprehensive Youth Violence Prevention Strategy. First, the collaborative went through a strategic planning and needs assessment process. A comprehensive strategy was then developed with the organizational involvement of community members along with over 50 public agencies and the collaborative's administrative arm. The Partnership sought federal and state grants, and work teams were organized with multiple staff from participating agencies to develop and implement the programs. An example on the law enforcement side of the Partnership's program which utilizes this type of entrepreneurial work team is COPNET, an effort in which 27 public and private members are cooperatively developing a system design for linking police agency management records systems and information for crime analysis across jurisdictional boundaries. An example on the prevention side is the adoption of a ban on the sale of junk guns, a problem that has spread throughout the entire Bay Area region and beyond.
The collaborative management of federal and state dollars ensures those dollars are spent effectively, in a comprehensive program to achieve objectives developed through consensus across a broad-based region where each program supports all others.
Contact: Office of the Mayor, (510) 644-6484
The United States Conference of Mayors
J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
Copyright ©1996, U.S. Conference of Mayors, All rights reserved.