South Bay coffee cart helps fight youth unemployment

Posted at 5:09 PM, Oct 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-12 20:52:53-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A local group is teaming up with a non-profit organization to help fight the unemployment rates among young adults in San Diego. 

Casa Familia came up with the idea to start a coffee cart, training teenagers and 20-year-olds in different skills to run the coffee business. San Ysidro Health Center jumped on board to help with the funding of the project. 

Ana Melgoza is the Vice President of General Affairs for San Ysidro Health Center. She tells 10News it was an obvious decision.

"We said 'yes, of course' as soon as Casa Familia approached us with this wonderful and innovative endeavor," Melgoza said.

El K-Fe hired six baristas, graduates of Casa Familiar's youth barista training program. The $20,000 coffee cart now sits in the central hub of the health center. The baristas and managers are all young adults who have gone through many months of training. 

Francisco Dominguez is a student at Southwestern College and among the first to join the project.

"It’s kind of giving hope to the youth that think that they don't have a chance. They have a chance; we all have a chance. I started out like them now I'm looking forward to what the future has and what I can do with this and what we can do as a team," said Dominguez.

Dominguez said the project is beneficial for many reasons but mostly for the skills learned at such a young age.

"Most jobs are 18 and older, so with this internship, it's 14 and older; so high school students: sophomores, freshmen, juniors, seniors in high school, can join the program, can get that job experience they need so once they graduate, they can get that job."

The plan is to reinvest proceeds from the first El K-Fe coffee cart to establish more carts and create more youth job and training opportunities.