October 30, 2020 - 

Following Governor Gavin Newsom’s recent Executive Order to accelerate climate change mitigation efforts and build a more sustainable and inclusive economy (EO N-79-20), the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and California Workforce Development Board (CWDB) announced today the signing of a first-ever Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to ensure investments in clean energy and transportation sustainability result in high- quality jobs and greater access to career opportunities for disadvantaged Californians.

“The billions of dollars of utility ratepayer funds invested annually in energy and transportation represent a major opportunity to deliver on the Governor’s ‘California For All’ promise of shared prosperity”, said CPUC Commissioner Clifford Rechtschaffen. “This MOU provides a framework for doing exactly that.”

Under the MOU, CWDB and the CPUC will collaborate on workforce development opportunities in key energy and transportation policy areas: energy efficiency, renewable energy, building decarbonization, vegetation management, and transportation electrification.

In February 2019, after extensive public consultation, the CPUC adopted an Environmental and Social Justice Action Plan (ESJ Action Plan) to serve as a roadmap to expand public inclusion in CPUC decision-making and improve services to targeted communities across California. In accordance with the CPUC’s ESJ Action Plan and the CWDB’s Unified Strategic Workforce Development Plan, the agencies will work to ensure California has the workforce and training partnerships necessary to meet clean energy and transportation sustainability goals, and build pathways to the middle class and beyond for Californians who have been historically excluded from economic opportunity or shouldered a disproportionate share of environmental and public health impacts. To that end, the CWDB will provide advice – in alignment with recommendation in the recently released “Putting California on the High Road” report – to guide CPUC policy, planning, and program development in ways that support good jobs and expand access to those jobs via high-quality education and training.

“The same way California leads the nation in creating demand for zero-emission vehicles and renewable electricity, we need strong policy and investment signals to ensure quality job creation in our transition to a carbon-neutral economy,” said CWDB Executive Director Tim Rainey. “Workers want real opportunity to provide for their families. This MOU is another step towards aligning quality training efforts with good jobs to ensure shared prosperity, climate resilience and equity for workers, families, and communities that have been excluded for decades. We can’t achieve equity without job quality.”

“I am extremely pleased to be executing this MOU between our agencies,” said CPUC President, Marybel Batjer. “As we accelerate our efforts to address climate change, we also have the opportunity to create an equitable and inclusive economic future. Both of our agencies are committed to ensuring that investments in clean energy programs result in high-road, high-quality jobs.”

The CPUC regulates services and utilities, protects consumers, safeguards the environment, and assures Californians’ access to safe and reliable utility infrastructure and services. For more information on the CPUC, please visit www.cpuc.ca.gov.

The CWDB is responsible for the oversight and continuous improvement of the workforce system in California, which encompasses a wide array of work, including: policy development; workforce support and innovation; and performance assessment, measurement, and reporting. For more information on the CWDB, please visit www.cwdb.ca.gov/.


Press Release