From the daily archives: Wednesday, June 27, 2012

El Centro, CA. June 26, 2012 – The Imperial County Workforce Development Board will receive $1 million in grant funding for its youth program over a three year period as part of Project LIKE (Linking Innovation, Knowledge and Employment). Project LIKE was awarded by the Department of Labor to a consortium of three Workforce Investment Boards in Riverside County, San Bernardino County, and Imperial County. A total of $6 million in funding was awarded, $1 million of which will be used to help young adults in Imperial County.
The funding will be used to provide services to disconnected young adults, ages 18 to 24, who are not in school, working, or serving in the military. The number of disconnected young adults has grown over the past several years due, in part, to job losses during the Great Recession. Project LIKE will serve young adults who are low-income, gang-involved, ex-offenders, on aid, recently separated veterans, and unemployed and not attending school. The program consists of five core elements: standardized assessments, life coaches/mentors, career exploration, national work readiness certificate, and support services. The goal of the program is to move disconnected young adults to positive education and/or employment outcomes.
In Imperial County, the program will be administered through the Workforce Development Board and its two youth contractors, Arbor E&T/ ResCare and Imperial Valley Regional Occupational Program. Project LIKE will assist approximately 300 young adults in developing skills and goals that lead to further education and career paths. Program recruitment is scheduled to beginning early August at the One Stop Centers.


By Mario Conde

The County Board of Supervisors will move forward with the formation of Renewable Energy Public Benefit Agreement ad hoc committee.

The Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution establishing guidelines for the Public Benefit Program for use with solar power plants in Imperial County. The board gave direction to create Restricted Accounts for the purpose of depositing funds generated from the Program, and on the formation of an Ad hoc advisory committee for the Agricultural and Community Benefit Programs. The Board directed county staff to bring those items back to the Board at a later time.

CEO Ralph Cordova said that all funds generated under this Agricultural Benefit Program shall be utilized solely for the purposes determined by the Board to accomplish the goals and objectives of the Agricultural Benefit Program as outlined in the Resolution. The Board shall consider the input of the Ad Hoc Agricultural Advisory Committee for the purpose of determining the specific elements and establishing the procedures for allocating funds under this program. Such uses may include, but are not limited to, stewardship, protection, and enhancement of agricultural lands within Imperial County; tools, technology, and techniques for protection of agricultural commodities or increases of crop yields; and support or project that increase agriculture industry employments opportunities.

The Agricultural Advisory committee would be composed of seven members; one appointment by the Imperial County Farm Bureau, one by the Imperial Valley Vegetable Growers, one representing the cattle industry, two selected at-large by the Board of Supervisors, one from the Imperial county Agricultural Commissioner’s office and one from  the County Executive Office.

The Board will also consider the input of the Ad Hoc Community Advisory Committee for the purpose of determining the specific elements and establishing the procedures for allocating funds under this Program. Such purposes may include, but not limited to, infrastructure improvement, business development and enhancement to the quality of life and neighboring communities.

The Community Advisory Committee would consist of seven members; one appointed by each members of the Board of Supervisors, one from the County Executive Office and one from the Imperial County Workforce Development Office. The positions will be advertized on the website and local newspapers for anyone interested in being appointed.


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By Mario Conde

The Calexico Special Financial Authority approved a subsidy contract for $313, 865.35 for the Pioneers Memorial 24 Hour Care Center in Calexico for 2011.

Heffernan Memorial Healthcare District and Pioneers Memorial Hospital have been working closely for the last couple of year s to provide urgent care services in Calexico. After a competitive bid process, Heffernan chose Pioneers to provide an Urgent Care Center to open for a full 24 hours per day, open 7 days per week, with expanded hours.

Steve Campbell, COO of Pioneers Memorial Hospital, gave a presentation to the board and explained the process of how Heffernan and Pioneers have worked to maintain and 24-hour Urgent Care Center in Calexico.

During the term of the three-year agreement, Campbell said, Heffernan will make a subsidy payment to Pioneers, based on calendar year operations, to reduce the losses of the expanded night hours. Subsidy capped for year one at the following: $350,000 for physician coverage and $185,000 for Mid-Level coverage.

Heffernan originally opted for full Physician Coverage which was later contractually amended to allow for a “hybrid” coverage, blending Physician Coverage on the weekends and Mid-Level coverage during weekdays. Provision included which allows Heffernan subsidy payment to decrease annually, based profitability of night operation in relation to expenses. Since the expansion of hours of operation, the Urgent Care Center has treated 1, 572 patients with an average of 4.7 patients per night. 807 adult visits, 765 pediatric visits, and 807 weekend visits.

The subsidy calculation for 2011 is estimated 2,760 hours covered by Physician and 336 hours covered by Mid-level. The total subsidy due to Pioneers Memorial will be at $313,865.35.

In other news, the Calexico Financing Authority approved a request from Heffernan Memorial District for reimbursement on grant provided to the Cancer Resource Center of the Desert and American Cancer Society in the amount of $10,000.


By Mario Conde

The Calexico Unified School District will present the proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2012-13 to be reviewed and approved by the Board of Trustees today.

In the written report given by CUSD Superintendent Richard Fragale, he states that the estimated total ending General Fund Balance at June 30, 2012, is $14,086,001. The unrestricted ending fund balance is estimated at $8,664,387.65, which is 16% of the General Fund expenditures.

“These projections constitute our best estimate at this time of how the district will finish the 2011-12 school year.” Superintendent Richard Fragale said. “Final results will not be known until we close our books and prepare for our year-end financial statements in August. Results will be presented to the board in September.” He said.

Fragale wrote that the District has settled an agreement with the Associated Calexico Teachers with a multi-year agreement ending in 2014. The contents of the agreement are reflected in the 2012-13 budget and multi-year projections, he said.

In other items, the Board will once again consider the layoff of classified employees. The resolution calls for the elimination or reduction of classified positions such as Project Office Assistant, District Services Assistant, Migrant Office Assistant, ASES Parent Liaisons and ASES Campus Security.

The Board was going to discuss this item at its May 31st meeting but decided to table it. The Calexico School Board will meet today at 6:00 p.m. and the meeting will be held at the District Administration Board Room located at 901 Andrade Ave.

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