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Building Skills Partnership

 1936 W. Chapman Ave
 Orange, CA 92868
[P] (760) 799 x 9029
[F] (714) 7049102
[email protected]
Luis Sandoval
 Printable 1 Page Summary
 Printable Profile
Organization DBA BSP
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years Yes
Employer Identification Number 26-1254255 00000


Mission StatementMORE »

The mission of Building Skills Partnership (BSP) is to improve the quality of life for low-wage property service workers and their families by increasing their skills, access to education, and opportunities for career and community advancement.

Mission Statement

The mission of Building Skills Partnership (BSP) is to improve the quality of life for low-wage property service workers and their families by increasing their skills, access to education, and opportunities for career and community advancement.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year 2017
Projected Expenses $1,839,020.00
Projected Revenue $1,839,020.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • ADVANCE Workplace ESL & Job Skills

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

The mission of Building Skills Partnership (BSP) is to improve the quality of life for low-wage property service workers and their families by increasing their skills, access to education, and opportunities for career and community advancement.

Background Statement

In high-rise buildings and industrial parks throughout California, tens of thousands of janitors toil through the night to keep workplaces clean. Ninety percent of them are immigrants, most never finished grade school, and many are struggling to learn English while working long hours for low wages.

Building Skills Partnership offers these workers a rare chance to invest in their futures by acquiring skills-training on the job, while also helping employers cultivate a more efficient and knowledgeable workforce.

The nonprofit partnership, with offices in four regions of the state, was founded in 2000 in the wake of janitors’ strikes and contentious negotiations between the Service Employees International Union and employers. Cardenas, the organization’s executive director, convinced the two unlikely allies to collaborate on an innovative training program aimed at giving immigrant janitors skills that can lead to advancement and new economic opportunities.

Building Skills Partnership provides classes in English, citizenship preparation, parent engagement, and health and wellness, as well as job-related skills such as computer literacy. Most of the classes are taught at the work site and often during work hours, making it as easy as possible for workers to participate. Forty five percent of the program’s cost is covered by employer contributions, with the rest coming from private and government grants.

Investing in their workers’ training has paid off for employers. New skills and communication abilities among employees have led to higher job performance, allowing building owners to attract new tenants with a higher level of service. As a result, the training program is in high demand from building owners and other employers — more than the partnership can meet.

Over the past five years, more than 4,000 janitors and other workers have completed an intensive course in English and workplace skills offered at work sites in greater Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, Orange County, Sacramento, Oakland and San Diego. More than 80 percent of participants completed the program — a strikingly high rate.


Impact Statement

Since 2007, BSP has trained over 5,000 low wage immigrant janitors throughout California. Now each year, BSP provides training and related programming to over 2,300 janitors across California, of which 90% are Latino. In 2010, BSP expanded to Orange County and since then it has provided training to more than 300 individual workers. 65% of its participants in Orange County are female. BSP programming includes workplace English and job skills classes, computer literacy, citizenship training, occupational and general health and wellness, Spanish literacy, and parent engagement programming. Since inception, BSP has developed its programs to cater to the specific needs of Latino janitors, and it has become a national model for targeting this hard-to-reach demographic. By offering English training at worksites and mostly on paid work-time, BSP removes traditional barriers for low-wage adults to access English and vocational training, such as childcare, transportation and second jobs. As a result, BSP’s workplace English program successfully trains over 410 students per year with high attendance and graduation rates of over 80%. Additionally, over 80% of participants advance at least one BSP English language level (equivalent to a California adult school level) within the 70-100 hour program. On a national level, other training programs in cities such as Chicago, New York, and Washington D.C. use BSP’s curriculum as a best practice. This past September, the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) awarded BSP the 2012 E Pluribus Unum Prizes award recognizing BSP’s efforts for offering innovative models for the integration of Latino immigrant janitors. In February,2013, the James Irvine Foundation and California’s State Senate recognized BSP and its Executive Director, Aida Cardenas, for advancing innovative and effective solutions that address critical state issues.

Needs Statement

BSP's most pressing needs include additional cash resources to meet the growing demand for adult training. In addition, training equipment needs to be replaced within the next fiscal year to remain competitive in  providing quality training with new technologies. Volunteers serve an important role within BSP, we are always in need fo volunteers.

CEO Statement

Building Skills Partnership (BSP) has a high quality vocational education and training program that is capable of increasing the workforce capacity and economic performance of property service workers in California. Our program areas and its curriculum play a key role in driving the productivity and competitiveness of the industry and contributing to the economic and social development of our communities. Building Skills Partnership’s mission is attained through an effective and holistic approach to change that includes: (1) developing the workforce; (2) comprehensive approach to social change; and (3) strong collaborations for a better future. The above principles are the foundations to the success and expansion of Building Skills Partnership throughout California. Through our high quality vocational program (ADVANCE), Building Skills Partnership is able to provide training to over 1,000 low-wage immigrant workers a year.  This success is attributed to the  unique partnership and the commitment of employers, the union, and client companies to bring vocational English as Second Language (ESL) and job skills training directly to janitors at their respective workplaces. Providing the training at the worksite, allows janitors for the best chance of participating while also managing family obligations, transportation issues, second and third jobs, and numerous other challenges associated with this workforce.  While most California office workers sleep, janitors work the graveyard shift cleaning desks, vacuuming carpets, disinfecting restrooms, mopping floors, taking out the trash, sorting recyclable materials and keeping offices clean and safe.  Unfortunately, state funded educational institutions and community-based organizations do not meet the need to serve property service workers in specialized industry related training, and even fewer have vocational training programs that are suited for this population. For the next years, Building Skills Partnership will continue to work on its suitability, and organizational infrastructure while continuing to offer quality of programs for property service workers and their families. As Executive Director I look forward to the opportunity to continuing to advance the mission of Building Skills Partnership Aida Cardenas Executive Director

Board Chair Statement

It is a great pleasure to serve as a chair of the Building Skills Partnership Board of Directors and to be part of an organization founded with the objective to provide California’s property service workers the vocational training and education to create opportunities to reach the American Dream. To many janitors, this dream encompasses much more than economic prosperity, it symbolizes personal advancement, the ability to provide a better life for one’s children, and the individual pursuit of liberty and justice.  Thousands of subcontracted janitors work in obscurity of day and night while they service California’s top industries including commercial real estate, high-tech, biotech, entertainment and others daily. Building Skills Partnership understands that training and education are key components to immigrant integration and upward mobility.  Building Skills Partnership represents a unique non-profit collaboration between the janitors' union (SEIU-USWW), commercial building owners, responsible janitorial employers, client companies and community leaders.  Building Skills Partnership’s ambitious goals are driven by the common interest amongst its collaborators to provide training and education to elevate individuals, families and the communities it serves. During these hard economic times, there is an urgent need for adults to receive training and education and Building Skills Partnership serves as a model to replicate throughout California and the nation. Its unique partnership, curriculum and successes are models that can be replicated to bridge the vocational skill and education gap amongst workers.  Its core program areas allows workers and their families to become empowered through training and education to ultimately end the cycle of poverty, low educational attainment, poor health and low civic participation.  Building Skills Partnership strives to develop programs that are effective in meeting the needs of property service workers in California; our goal is to ensure each participant of the program is able to acquire the necessary training and education to enable economic prosperity, personal advancement, and the ability to provide a better life for their children.   Sincerely,   Victor Narro Board of Directors Chair

Other Ways to Donate/Volunteer

Individuals interested in donating are able to make several types of contributions which include, but not limited to: a direct cash contribution, in-kind donations, and by donating their time as a volunteer. In addition, we often partner with our local businesses to meet the needs of our surrounding  community and corporate partners, while furthering BSP’s mission and work.

Types of partnerships available include:

  • Community and Corporate Giving Program
  • In-Kind
  • Sponsorships
  • Cause Marketing & Promotions
  • PSA Production [radio, television, web, print]
  • Corporate Volunteerism
  • Workplace Giving
  • Matching Gifts
  • Foundation Grants

Geographic Area Served

North Orange County
Central Orange County
Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Sacramento, Oakland, Silicon Valley

Organization Categories

  1. Education - Adult Education
  2. Community Improvement, Capacity Building -
  3. -



ADVANCE Workplace ESL & Job Skills

Close to 700 janitors and other immigrant workers graduate each year from our intensive, six-month ADVANCE program, blending Vocational English as a Second Language (VESL) curriculum with job skills instruction. Classes are held at over 30 large, corporate worksites on work paid time, ensuring high attendance and graduation rates of over 90%. Janitors who graduate from the 50-100 hour intensive courses are often promoted to higher paid day cleaning, event service, building maintenance, clean room, and supervisory positions. At many sites, ADVANCE participants are also paired with volunteers from client corporations or universities for one-on-one English and computer tutoring, bridging enormous cultural divides.
Budget  $240,390.00
Category  Education, General/Other Vocational Education
Population Served Adults Immigrant, Newcomers, Refugees Hispanic, Latino Heritage
Program Short-Term Success  90% of participants improve their English proficiency level by at least one-level.
Program Long-Term Success  The workplace Vocational ESL training program is the BSP’s flagship program, reaching workers at the workplace annually. Classes are held during work time, ensuring high attendance, and a 95% graduation rate from this 70 hour program.
Program Success Monitored By  BSP uses several measurement tools to demonstrate improvement, but it primarily relies on pre-and-post tests and CASAS assessment.
Examples of Program Success  --


CEO/Executive Director Aida Cardenas
CEO Term Start Oct 2009
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Alison Ascher Webber Associate Director --
Laura Medina Sourthern California Coordinator --
Luis Sandoval Development Manager --


Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --


Affiliation Year
-- --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --



Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 18
Number of Part Time Staff 1
Number of Volunteers 60
Number of Contract Staff 10
Staff Retention Rate % --
Staff Professional Development Yes

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 1
Hispanic/Latino: 17
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 11
Male: 7
Not Specified --

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? --
Organization has Strategic Plan? --
Years Strategic Plan Considers 2
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Business Continuity of Operations Plan Yes

Risk Management Provisions

Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Quarterly

Government Licenses


CEO Comments


Foundation Comments



Board Chair Victor Narro
Board Chair Company Affiliation UCLA Labor Center
Board Chair Term June 2008 - May
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
James Altieri ABM Janitorial Services – Southwest, Inc. Voting
Martha Cox-Nitikman BOMA of Greater Los Angeles Voting
Lilia Garcia Maintenance Cooperation Trust Fund Voting
Andrew Gross-Gaitan SEIU - United Service Workers West Voting
David Huerta SEIU - United Service Workers West Voting
Marisol Rivera SEIU - United Service Workers West Voting
Janna Shadduk-Hernandez Dr. UCLA School of Education/Labor Center Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Additional Board Members and Affiliations

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 4
Hispanic/Latino: 4
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 4
Male: 5
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths --
Board Term Limits --
Board Meeting Attendance % 90%
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 50%
Board Orientation --

CEO Comments


Foundation Comments


Standing Committees



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Fiscal Year June 01, 2016 to May 31, 2017
Projected Revenue $1,839,020.00
Projected Expenses $1,839,020.00
Form 990s

2015 990s FY 14-15

2014 Form 990

2013 Form 990

2012 990's 2011-2012

Audit Documents

2015 FY 2014-2015 Audit

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2015 2015 2014
Total Revenue $2,387,628 $2,387,628 $1,180,867
Total Expenses $1,897,419 $1,897,419 $1,169,274

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Revenue By Revenue Source
Fiscal Year 2015 2015 2014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$2,387,445 $2,387,445 $1,132,504
Government Contributions $0 $0 $48,021
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- $48,021
Individual Contributions -- -- --
Indirect Public Support -- -- $0
Earned Revenue -- -- $0
Investment Income, Net of Losses $183 $183 $342
Membership Dues -- -- $0
Special Events -- -- $0
Revenue In-Kind -- -- $289,227
Other -- -- $0

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Expense By Type
Fiscal Year 2015 2015 2014
Program Expense $10,750 $10,750 $1,038,628
Administration Expense $815,463 $815,463 $79,641
Fundraising Expense $2,835 $2,835 $51,005
Payments to Affiliates $1,068,371 $1,068,371 $0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.26 1.26 1.01
Program Expense/Total Expenses 1% 1% 89%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 0% 0% 4%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year 2015 2015 2014
Total Assets $750,683 $750,683 $691,919
Current Assets -- -- $685,590
Long-Term Liabilities -- -- $0
Current Liabilities $107,303 $107,303 $58,573
Total Net Assets $643,380 $643,380 $633,346

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2015 2015 2014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 0.00 0.00 11.70

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2015 2015 2014
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%
Endowment Value $0.00
Spending Policy N/A
Percentage(If selected) --
Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes

CEO Comments


Foundation Comments

Summary financial data is per the Form 990s and consultation with the organization. Foundation/corporate and individual contributions are combined under Foundation and Corporation Contributions.


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.