Economic & Workforce Development

The Economic & Workforce Development Department works to bring about a vibrant, innovative, globally competitive economy in Oakland. Our mission is to increase investment in Oakland in a way that contributes to the growth of the City’s economy, fosters fiscal sustainability, expands job opportunities for all residents, and enhances the City’s sense of place and quality of life.


EWDD Divisions


Sample Parklet Photo
Mar 28, 2023

City of Oakland Launches New Permanent Parklet Program Guidelines

The program evolves the COVID-19 shutdown-era pilot to facilitate permanent right-of-way support for local business, providing stability for merchants to invest in their parklets while ensuring safe access for everyone traveling in the City’s rights-of-way.

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Sofia Navarro

Interim Director

Sofia Navarro has over ten years of executive non-profit management experience and recently entered the public sector serving the City of Oakland as the Executive Director of the Oakland Workforce Development Board. In her current capacity she provides leadership and oversight of workforce investments in the City, staffing the Workforce Development Board, managing workforce development systems, planning, and policy. She also oversees the Business Development division in an effort to align the work of business development with workforce development to be more strategic about supporting business retention, attraction, job training and creating a workforce that is responsive to the needs of Oakland businesses.

Prior to joining the City of Oakland, Ms. Navarro served as the VP of Community and Government Relations for Planned Parenthood Northern California. She developed and implemented the vision and strategic plan for Case Management, Education, and Public Affairs. She also managed the Planned Parenthood Northern California Action Fund and its state Political Action Committee.

Ms. Navarro also served as Chief Operating Officer of The Unity Council - a non-profit organization advancing social and economic equity for residents in central East Oakland. Her passion and dedication to Oakland residents led her to pursue significant state and federal funding to support workforce initiatives like the Health Care Sector Initiative and the One Stop Career Center that successfully engaged education partners and employers to create new job opportunities for low-income residents of Oakland.

She is committed to community service and was appointed by Contra Costa County Board of Supervisor, Federal Glover, to serve on the Economic Opportunity Council. Ms. Navarro also joined Oakland Thrives Leadership Council, which focuses on advancing well-being and equity for Oakland children, families, and communities.

She has a Master’s degree in Leadership and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Saint Mary’s College of California.

Contact Us


Map image for Economic & Workforce Development, located at 250 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza in Oakland, CA 94612
250 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza
Suite 3315
Oakland, CA 94612

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