Campus: CSU, Long Beach -- March 14, 2001
CSULB Center for Career Studies, Local Church Receive $410,000
Grant from California Governor's Faith-Based Initiative Program
PA partnership project teaming the Center for Career
Studies at Cal State Long Beach with the Church of Elohim
Ministries in Long Beach has been awarded a $410,000 grant
through an innovative, first-time Faith-Based Initiative
established by California Governor Gray Davis.
The grant was one of 20 awards totaling $5 million recently
given to faith-based organizations throughout California.
The funded projects or programs focus on providing job
training and other services to individuals not traditionally
served by the current system of workforce development.
In all, more than 230 of the state's churches and spiritual
organizations submitted proposals to participate in the
Faith-Based Initiative, and the CSULB-Elohim Ministries
project received the second highest of the 20 grants
"The project that this grant supports is an excellent
example of how our university contributes to and helps
improve the local community and the lives of its residents,"
said Robert C. Maxson, president of Cal State Long Beach.
"Partnering with a local church gives us an opportunity to
reach out to people who might not otherwise come into
contact with the campus."
Called Project FAITH (Forging Ahead in Technology and
Health), the CSULB-Elohim program will provide vocational
training to 70 economically disadvantaged and/or limited
English proficient individuals in Long Beach. The training
will prepare participants for one of two job
opportunities-certified nursing assistant or Microsoft
Office User Specialist.
"Project FAITH addresses several significant needs in the
Long Beach community," noted Paul Bott, director of the
CSULB Center for Career Services. "It addresses the need for
employment training services for the hardest-to-serve
individual; it addresses the overall shortage of workers in
the information technology (computer) and health care
industries; and it addresses the employment services needs
of the limited English speaking worker."
In addition to the job training, the project will
incorporate basic literacy and Vocational English as a
Second Language instruction into the curriculum over the
18-month project period.
"So, there is basic reading, writing and arithmatic that
goes with these programs, and it is all done in the context
of the occupation being taught," Bott explained. "Within the
nursing assistant's program, for example, students learn the
math that goes along with measuring and measuring skills.
The English language they are getting is that used in a
medical situation. This is also true of the Microsoft Office
The Church of Elohim Ministries, located on the west side of
Long Beach, has a congregation of about 120 families. Bott
said virtually all of its members are immigrants, mostly
from the Philippines and some from Mexico.
Church members have first priority in all of the offerings
of Project FAITH, but enrollment is not restricted to church
membership. In fact, none of the organizations receiving
Faith-Based Initiative grants can require membership,
conversion or any other similar stipulation as a condition
of receiving the training.
"We've already filled a class for the nursing assistant
program and a class for the computer training program," Bott
pointed out. "The bulk of the participants we've already
selected are not members of the church. They are community
members who live near the church. The outreach has really
been in the community rather than being confined to the
Of the 70 individuals who will take part in the program,
Bott said 30 will be selected for the nursing assistant
program and 40 for the Microsoft Office user specialist
Anyone interested in learning more about the Project FAITH
can call the CSULB Center for Career Studies at 562/9854698
or 562/985-8564 or call the Church of Elohim Ministries at
562/424-6010 or 310/212-5625.