Economy

Agencies unite to help hundreds of laid-off HelloFresh workers: ‘I’m glad they were out there.’

Service providers in the East Bay have a message for the 611 workers laid off by HelloFresh in Richmond at the end of October: There are people and services available to help you find work. “You don’t have to navigate this by yourself,” said Carole “DC” Dorham-Kelly, CEO of Rubicon Programs, an anti-poverty nonprofit that is part of the Contra Costa Workforce Collaborative. Through service providers in the Collaborative, which includes nonprofits, adult education organizations, school sites, and community colleges,…

Final days for HelloFresh in Richmond, more than 600 workers face layoffs

On Wednesday, HelloFresh will close the Richmond facility it opened in 2015, putting 611 people out of work. For Julio de Leon, a HelloFresh driver for the past three years, the closure means losing income his family needs and having to start over.  “I depend on my HelloFresh check. And now, that check will no longer be on my table,” he said, in Spanish. “Starting over. Starting from zero, yet again, with new friends, with a new job. That’s the…

People of Richmond: Could you afford to take family leave?

“People of Richmond” is a regular series in which reporters pose a question to people in the community. Answers are presented verbatim, though sometimes edited for brevity. Q: Would receiving 90% of your pay enable you to take eight weeks off to care for a newborn or sick relative? “Yeah. I have a son that is autistic, I do need that kind of stuff. My mom. I do take care of them. It would be nice to have that.” (Sulaiman…

Newsom signs family leave expansion to benefit lower paid workers

On Friday, California expanded family leave benefits, making it easier for lower wage-earns to take time off after the birth or adoption of a child, or to care for a family member. Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 951, which extends for two years the family leave law that was set to expire at the end of this year. And in 2025, workers earning less than the state’s average wage — about $57,000 a year — will go from a…

Proposed increase in paid family leave could help many Richmond households

Ash Abbott, a 31-year-old single parent and math teacher at Kennedy High School in Richmond, was able to afford taking nine months of parental leave for the birth of their twins only by taking out private and student loans and buying necessities on credit. Now Abbott is in serious debt. “All of my credit cards are maxed out, which I’ve never experienced in my life,” says Abbott. “I’m living paycheck to paycheck, and I have more debt than I’ve ever…

Black tenants burdened more than others by high rents, relief program stats show

Charlene Cornelious was seriously considering putting in her 30-day notice. It was July 2021, and Cornelious, a longtime Richmond resident, was worried she wasn’t going to be able to pull together the $960 she needed to pay her rent. Her Crohn’s disease had flared up again earlier that month, causing abdominal pain and diarrhea and forcing her to take time off from her job as a nurse’s assistant in San Pablo. But being home meant her only source of income…

Richmond expands job opportunities year-round for city youth

Cinthia Hernandez was on the verge of dropping out of high school when she joined Richmond’s YouthWORKS in 2008. She credits the job program with much of her later success — an internship with the California Attorney General’s Office, a bachelor’s degree in social welfare from UC Berkeley, and her current position of program assistant for the project that helped shape her.  “The summer youth employment program was able to open so many doors for me,” Hernandez said.  Over the…

Richmond improvement projects stalled

Neighborhood clean-up projects have galvanized the Richmond community with a strong resurgence of effort to make improvements, but has it been enough to rid 23rd Street of the pimps and prostitutes that plague the district at night?