Youth job placement program gets big boost

Posted at 6:48 AM, Apr 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-13 09:48:46-04

Right now, tens of thousands of young San Diegans are in trouble - they're not in school and they don't have a job.

It can set them down a dangerous path

But there’s new money that will help them get back on track – as costs of living keep rising.

The San Diego Workforce Partnership recently got a $1 million grant to help expand its Connect2Careers program. The program places 16 to 24 year old San Diegans into jobs at places like SeaWorld, the Zoo, BioLabs, and engineering firm Johnson Mathey.

On Thursday, the organization is also unveiling research called Flip The Script, outlining a vision for helping the estimated 43,000 16-to-24 year old San Diegans unemployed and out of school into a job. It also says 30 percent of them don’t have health insurance and a quarter of the women have children.

“Who knows where your future will be, and there’s a lot of risks out there, there’s a lot of bad influences,” said Workforce Partnership CEO Peter Callstrom.

In 2014, Naomi Moore didn’t have the credits to graduate from high school with her classmates, and also couldn’t get a job.

“I was depressed and the job searching process was taking long,” she said.

Moore now works as a job coach at the partnership, and will start college in the fall.

The Workforce Partnership will use the $1 million grant, from the James Irvine Foundation, to fulfill its goal of getting another 11,000 of the at-risk San Diegans working. The organization is accepting applications for its Connect2Careers program.