Fontana, Calif.– Fontana Mayor Acquanetta Warren is back from Washington D.C., where she spent two days seeking funding opportunities for the City of Fontana. She had a meeting with U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta and a meeting with officials from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).
The one-on-one meeting with Labor Secretary Acosta was a follow up meeting to a discussion that began when the Mayor was invited to the White House in late January to share her perspective on what should drive a national infrastructure package with President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Department of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson and Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta.
During the meeting, Secretary Acosta and Mayor Warren spoke about the need for funding to enhance Fontana’s ability to provide apprenticeships in the advanced manufacturing, healthcare and technology fields.
Mayor Warren was recently appointed by the U.S. Conference of Mayors to chair the Manufacturing and Career and Educational Task Force. As the chairwoman and through meetings such as the recent meeting with Secretary Acosta, she seeks to bring awareness to the existing manufacturing jobs that are in need of a labor pool not fully addressed by current education institutions.
The Mayor expressed her goal to draw attention to the need of providing pathways for all Fontana’s students who choose not to enroll in a four-year institution. “We are not addressing proficiency in basic math, reading and other soft skills for employment. We must provide the means to seek employment after graduation that can substantiate someone’s ability to take care of their basic needs and thrive without higher education,” emphasizes Mayor Warren.
She aims to work closely with the Fontana Chamber of Commerce, the Mayor’s Manufacturing Council, Chaffey College, the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council, and all the public school districts and private schools that serve Fontana students. In addition, she will also work with healthcare providers and other shareholders to make sure students are qualified to obtain current jobs that are open today.
Mayor Warren also met with officials from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to discuss and debrief on the City’s previous 2018 Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development or BUILD grant application. The Mayor learned that the City’s application was highly rated and received information to improve the application for the next round of funding.
“Now that we understand what elements of our 2019 Build application need to be improved, our next application will be stronger,” says Mayor Warren.
About the BUILD grant
BUILD grants provide a unique opportunity for the United States Department of Transportation to invest in road, rail, transit and port projects that promise to achieve national objectives. Congress has dedicated nearly $7.1 billion for ten rounds of National Infrastructure Investments to fund projects that have a significant local or regional impact.