The Bread Project

Started in 2000, The Bread Project trains low-income people in commercial baking, food preparation and restaurant service for employment in the food industry. The staff helps students find and retain jobs, and provides work performance tracking and ongoing support for one year after graduation. Today, there are 9-week classes in café and restaurant service located in Berkeley and 12-week classes in commercial baking located in Emeryville.


Cypress Mandela Center

Cypress Mandela Training Center provides pre-apprenticeship jobs and life skills training in the construction trades. Cypress Mandela is located in Oakland and has been in operation since 1993. Every year several cohorts go through a rigorous 16-week training process that exposes students to the selection and use of tools, reading blueprints, surveying, computer assisted drawing, and safe construction practices.


Food Shift

Food Shift is developing practical solutions to reduce wasted food, feed communities, and provide jobs. Food Shift Catering, a social enterprise kitchen, provides training and jobs to individuals with barriers to employment. Food alone cannot solve hunger, and Food Shift is utilizing opportunities in the food system to address the intersecting issues of climate change, job and economic security, and community health. This is part of Food Shift’s holistic vision for healthy and sustainable communities and individuals.

Food Shift’s Catering: www.foodshiftcatering.org

Kitchen of Champions

St. Vincent De Paul of Alameda County’s Kitchen of Champions culinary training program is an intensive, comprehensive 9-week session for individuals with difficult barriers to employment (e.g. criminal record, homelessness or unstable housing situation).  In addition to learning kitchen skills, trainees are also given professional development skills (e.g. resume writing, interview practices). 

Class size is limited to 12 students and there is no tuition for the program.


Lao Family Community Development

Lao Family Community Development (LFCD)’s employment programs helps low income individuals and their families who are refugees, CalWORKs participants, individuals with disabilities, veterans and other participants to develop necessary essential and core job skills through up-front orientation, appraisal, and career assessment.  We provide support, one-on-one counseling, training and career planning to job-seekers.  We help individuals develop an individual employment plan, identify the employment goal, provide job search assistance (with 12 hiring events per year), and provide job placements services to obtain meaningful employment, family-supported careers leading to a vibrant East Bay economy


Monument Impact

Monument Impact “Workforce Development programs offer a pathway to self-sufficiency, economic advancement, and overall stability. We have offered comprehensive technology classes (beginner through advanced) for 10 years, including a 22-week advanced Career Track course which integrates computer training, ESL, and professional development classes. Using a rigorous and progressive curriculum, we focus on building the skills for higher paying jobs and promotions. We also provide small business support for Concord residents looking to formalize their businesses.


Opportunity Junction

Based in Antioch, Opportunity Junction fights poverty by helping low-income adults get the confidence and competence to get good jobs that enable them to support themselves and their families. Through intensive training programs, they build a solid foundation in computer skills, introduce participants to workplace culture, and offer the skills necessary for students to thrive in a competitive business environment. Opportunity Junction offers a three-phased program for its students including training in computer-based business applications, paid internship, and alumni services with 18-months of continued networking support and job-related guidance.


Rising Sun Center for Opportunity

Founded in 1994, Rising Sun is a leading green training, employment, and residential energy efficiency organization. Rising Sun’s Green Energy Training Services (GETS) program provides hands-on job training, one-on-one mentoring, and job placement support to low-income adults who experience barriers to employment with a specific focus on women and people returning home from incarceration. GETS is a 12- month job training program that begins with short-term training for adults who are interested in starting a career in the Construction or Solar sectors.  Participants gain the skills employers are looking for: applied math, concepts of green building, OSHA 10 certification, First Aid/CPR certification, professional skills training, effective communication, and more while learning about construction career opportunities and how to apply for them. 


Rubicon Programs

Rubicon’s mission is to prepare very low-income people to achieve financial independence and break the cycle of poverty. Rubicon places place low-income East Bay residents in jobs and housing and get them access to legal services and healthcare. Based in Richmond, Rubicon Programs offers services throughout Contra Costa and Alameda counties.



Young entrepreneurs receive one-on-one support and coaching in planning, designing and building businesses from Youth Business USA, and it is free of charge for selected applicants. Entrepreneurs learn how to build a business – from crafting a pitch to developing a strong product or service and establishing a customer base. Its professional advisors and mentors provide in-person and virtual support, connections, and specialty help on topics ranging from accounting and law to web design.


The Stride Center

Based in Oakland, The Stride Center is a non-profit social venture that is empowering economic self-sufficiency for individuals and communities in the Bay Area. Through its programs, it is harnessing the power of technology to help low income men, women and families. The Stride Center prepares its adult students for professional, well-rounded careers in the information technology field. It also operates its own technology consulting business called ReliaTech. This operation generates jobs and internships for Stride Center graduates and students, provides revenue to sustain its non-profit mission, and brings affordable, local technology solutions to the community.


Wardrobe for Opportunity

Wardrobe for Opportunity (WFO) works in partnership with the community to assist low-income individuals in their efforts to Find a Job, Keep a Job, and Build a Career.