Programs & Initiatives

Anchors in Resilient Communities (ARC) is a multi-sector collaborative initiated by Emerald Cities Collaborative and Health Care Without Harm to address the social, economic and environmental determinants of health by leveraging the assets and capacities of East Bay anchor institutions and community-based partners. The collaboration focuses on expanding community wealth and ownership, improving health outcomes and strengthening the capacity of communities of color and low- and moderate-income residents to be resilient in the face of climate and economic disruption.

One of the first proposed projects of the initiative, MyCultiver, aims to produce up to 200,000 healthy, locally-sourced meals per day to distribute to institutions, including health systems such as Kaiser Permanente Northern California, Dignity Health and the University of California, San Francisco.

Within the framework of ARC -- with community health and wealth at the forefront of the planning process -- MyCultiver is being designed to not only provide healthful, locally-sourced meals for the institutional market but also to create jobs and cooperative ownership opportunities for residents, support urban and regional sustainable food production and increase healthful food access for the communities of Oakland and Richmond.   

As a result of the ARC initiative, Food Service Partners -- which designs, builds and operates high volume central production kitchens for the healthcare industry -- has hired 18 residents of Richmond to work in its new facility there.


Proposition 39, passed overwhelmingly by California voters, provided a small, five-year, window to target California’s outdated K-14 school facilities for deep energy retrofits. The goal was to update these underfunded public buildings with badly-needed modern technologies like LED lighting, energy-efficient HVAC systems and renewable energy.

EC Oakland was invited by kW Engineering to participate in its bid under the Oakland Unified School District’s (OUSD) Request For Qualification, and the proposal won the technical assistance contract to identify for OUSD how best to target the efficiency work during the five-year project.  kW Engineering was the prime contractor, and EC Oakland joineds the team as a subcontractor providing workforce and community support services. During the interview on the proposal, OUSD noted that EC Oakland’s participation was key to the successful bid.

Given the proposition’s title – “California’s Clean Jobs Act” – the EC Oakland team believed it was critical to target project opportunities, including career pathways, to students and other local residents.


Multi-Craft Curriculum (MC3) was introduced to the Bay Area’s East Bay when EC Oakland Local Council partner Rising Sun Energy Center accepted the invitation from ECC’s national office to learn and adopt the nationally-accredited curriculum. The Multi-Craft Core Curriculum provides a gateway from high school or community college to joint industry-registered apprenticeships in the Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO, establishing, for the first time, standardized pre-apprenticeships for entry into any one of the building trades. Rising Sun Energy Service had a successful first cohort of trainees, with many local trades participating in its program.

In addition, EC Oakland’s co-chair John Brauer, executive director for workforce and economic development for the California Labor Federation, initiated the process of bringing MC3 to high school students throughout the state, with notable success.

Bringing MC3 to high schools once again exposed youth to a variety of building industry crafts and sectors. This encouraged critical partnerships and pathways to community college, providing support to residents of low-income communities and communities of color in their pursuit of careers offering union skills and wages.  


BEST Center PG&E grant: EC Oakland Director Tara Marchant, with support of Peralta Community College District (PCCD), led the consideration of a project of Laney College’s Building Efficiency for a Sustainable Tomorrow (BEST) Center for Pacific Gas & Electric’s (PG&E) Zero-Net Energy grant program. The project was accepted, and in 2012 approximately $200,000-worth of technical assistance from PG&E Zero-Net Energy providers allowed FLAD architects, Laney’s Career Technical Education faculty and PCCD’s General Service Department to design the BEST Center to PassivHaus standards. Laney’s $5 million BEST facilities will exemplify the most rigorous standards for efficient buildings to date and act as showcase learning center for the North Bay.

When ground was broken for the BEST Center in 2016, EC Oakland helped students and faculty, through the USGBC Community Green Program, earn credit, internships and in some cases workforce experience.


The Peralta Community College District's (PCCD) Board of Trustees signed a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) to work with Emerald Cities Oakland on a college-wide energy efficiency retrofit project. EC Oakland technical assistance providers walked the PCCD campus and reviewed the scope of potential retrofit work. EC Oakland also identified financing structures that would allow Peralta Community College to accelerate its project timeline and its NetZero campus goal.  



Elyse Rainey: Economic Inclusion Mgr, ARC

E erainey@emeraldcities.org | T 612 210-3010

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