By Post Staff
The city is working to “expedite” cash advances to nonprofits that provide job training to Oakland youth, according to the city’s communications director.
Agencies funded by the city have been waiting to receive the advances for the past eight months.
“Normally it would take about 7-8 weeks to amend multiple contracts, process invoices and send payments. Yet in recognition of the time-sensitivity of granting advance payment requests to youth service providers, we are striving to cut this timeframe in half, “ said Karen Boyd, Oakland’s Citywide Communications Director.
The 20 percent advances are supposed to be available to agencies that request them. For many small nonprofits, it is difficult to begin providing job-training services when a new fiscal year begins in July, waiting for months to pay staff and provide youth stipends until they start receiving their regular funding.
“Currently, staff is getting providers’ signatures on the amended contracts. Providers must also submit their advance payment requests,” Boyd said in a Feb. 21 email.
“Staff estimates that this process is about half-way complete, and that providers will receive payment in about two weeks. Again, this timeline has been significantly expedited to address the needs of the providers.”
At a Workforce Investment Board meeting on Feb. 7, Bailey made the promise that the checks would ready in two weeks, but the agencies had not received the money by Thursday, Feb. 21.
“It puts an organization that is doing good work but doesn’t have a huge reservoir of money at a disadvantage. They require us to front the money and wait for reimbursement. Small nonprofits cannot wait very long,” said Peter Roos, president of the board of the Spanish Speaking Citizens’ Foundation.