Some new, special opportunities could be within reach for students looking for those elusive summer jobs.
Chula Vista resident Ronald Williams thought he was destined for another summer behind the retail counter.
"And that was one of the things that was kind of conflicting with me because I know that's not really what I was meant to do," he said.
Williams was wrong, and now he's much more confident about his future.
"I'm really set on working for myself. I want to have my own companies," he said.
Williams got a job through a program called CONNECT2Careers, hosted by the nonprofit San Diego Workforce Partnership.
It just began accepting summer applications, with the goal of placing 1,000 underserved young people into summer jobs that can lead to future careers.
The job seekers, age 16-24, also learn the skills to land big jobs, including how to write a resume, how to interview and how to network.
"For most people, this is their first time finding employment, so you don't have any idea how to do any of this stuff," Williams said.
Instead of retail, Williams, a Southwestern College student, was placed at an education company called Harmonium.
He's still on the payroll, and he said, "This job that I have now is actually something venturing out."
This year, CONNECT2Careers is hoping to step up its job placement ranks again.
It's looking to tap into San Diego's leading edge economy to help students get that elusive foot in the door.
"The jobs are all over the place, but again the big need is we need more employers to step up and find room for young adults to have these opportunities," said Peter Callstrom, the workforce partnership's CEO.
So far, companies like General Dynamics NASSCO, Sharp HealthCare and San Diego Gas & Electric are on board.
Williams said he now knows to think bigger.
"I'd probably still be trying to find another retail job knowing that's not what I wanted to be pursuing," he said.
Applicants must be San Diego County residents. For more information on how to apply, visit http://c2csd.org .