Unemployment Language Opportunity Program

California is home to more than 4.5 million limited-English-speaking adults, representing nearly one in five working-age adults in the state — the highest proportion in the nation. As the pandemic exposed and amplified, many limited-English-speaking communities struggle to access unemployment insurance.

The Unemployment Language Opportunity Program is supported by a California Employment Development Department state budget appropriation and legislation enacted in 2021, complementing a comprehensive new regime of multilingual services. The program builds on the critical services provided by community-based organizations during the pandemic to reach limited-English-speaking adult Californians through trusted messengers with deep roots in their communities. The program provides support for education and outreach to communities of focus for them to better access unemployment insurance and other services and benefits.

The Funding Opportunity

The California Employment Development Department, in partnership with The Center, awarded a total of $2 million to 11 community-based organizations throughout the state to help limited-English-speaking communities and the deaf and hard-of-hearing community to better access unemployment insurance and other Employment Development Department services and benefits. The Center administers this grant program.

Access the news release (.pdf).

Funded Community Partners

  • Armenian Relief Society of Western USA, Inc.
  • Center for Workers’ Rights
  • Centro Binacional para el Desarrollo Indigena Oaxaqueño
  • Chinese Progressive Association
  • Jakara Movement
  • Korean American Federation of Los Angeles
  • Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles
  • Mixteco Indigenous Organizing Project
  • NorCal Services for Deaf and Hard of Hearing
  • Step Forward Foundation
  • The Cambodian Family