Exploring San DiegoCommunityStories for Change


Program helps underserved job seekers find work

Posted at 4:50 PM, Nov 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-01 17:10:21-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Jobs are open across San Diego County, and a local organization wants to make sure workers from underserved areas have the skills to take advantage of the openings.

Andrea Salazar says one of the best antidotes to her personal struggles came last summer, when she entered Access headquarters in Linda Vista. It's an organization that helps under-served San Diegans get jobs.

"They'll just throw you opportunities, and you'll pick what you like and there's no pressure here," Salazar said Monday.

Salazar learned to write a resume, which ultimately helped her land a part time job at Old Navy. She just took on another position at a local restaurant, while working toward high school graduation.

"The fact that I have two jobs is kind of unbelievable to me. The fact that I'm holding them down. It just feels like a pat on the back," she said.

Access and The San Diego Workforce Partnership say the pandemic disproportionately impacted young workers, especially immigrants, persons of color and low-income individuals, because they didn't have access to virtual job-seeking tools. That's why they've teamed up to teach employment skills to 16-to-24 year old workers while connecting them with opportunities.

"We all know that workers are at a premium right now, so we are really working hard to able to match that job seeker with that job opportunity," said Roshawn Brady, a senior vice president at Access.

Brady says the skills picked up for these first jobs could also set the foundation for moving into San Diego's in-demand fields, which grew throughout the pandemic.