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CMUA Awards Long Beach City College Energy & Water Workforce Grant

The school will receive $750,000 to support training, including for new professionals from underrepresented groups
By California Municipal Utilities Association, Career Stories

The California Water, Wastewater and Energy Workforce Development Program awarded Long Beach City College (LBCC) a $750,000 grant to establish a Regional Consortium in Los Angeles and Orange counties that will lead efforts to train and place at least 70 underrepresented workers into the water and energy sectors. The new program will begin training individuals in fall 2024 and continue until the end of the grant period in March 2026.

LBCC has a robust Workforce and Economic Development department that is experienced in providing industry-specific training programs. In the last ten years, the college has developed and implemented several such programs focused on underrepresented populations. Through the new grant, LBCC’s Workforce and Economic Development department will leverage that experience to transition participants into jobs in the water and energy workforce or similar sectors through the creation of the Careers in Energy, Water, and Wastewater (CEWW) Program.

“Long Beach City College is incredibly excited to be chosen to establish the CEWW program, which will create a robust workforce pipeline of participants from underrepresented populations to obtain quality jobs in the water and energy sectors,” said Melissa Infusino, Interim Vice President Economic, Workforce Development and Government Affairs at Long Beach City College. “The College looks forward to collaborating with community partners such as Long Beach Utilities to implement this integral programming that will empower community members.”

“We are excited to have LBCC as a partner in the California Water, Wastewater and Energy Workforce Development Program,” said Danielle Blacet-Hyden, Deputy Executive Director at the California Municipal Utilities Association (CMUA). “We are confident its efforts will help further the work we are doing to improve the number of qualified workers in California’s water and energy industries.”

The LBCC program will include targeted outreach to ensure the project is highly likely to recruit underrepresented groups and low-income populations and households; data collection and reporting to measure and validate program performance; and enhanced supportive services to increase applicant success and retention.

The water and energy industries are facing widespread shortages of qualified workers due to expected retirements, needed investments in California’s infrastructure, and new technical and scientific skills required to operate, improve, and maintain critical systems. The Greater Los Angeles County and Orange County region was chosen for the regional pilot program because of existing demand and capacity to launch a demonstration that can potentially be duplicated and scaled across California.

This grant is one component of the new California Water, Wastewater and Energy Workforce Development Program, which CMUA recently launched in partnership with the California African American Water Education Foundation, Jewish Vocational Service, and Water Education for Latino Leaders. The $4 million program is funded through a grant from the California Workforce Development Board’s High Road Training Partnership Program.

Questions? Please email CMUA’s Danielle Blacet-Hyden or visit the California Water, Wastewater and Energy Workforce Development Program website at