December 2, 2005

Southwestern College Receives $600,000 For Free Employment Training In Spanish

HSIAC Grant Will Increase Number of Home-Based Child Care Centers; Mandatory Information Sessions Will Take Place Dec. 8 and 12

CHULA VISTA – Southwestern College (SWC) continues to solidify its role in National City. Thanks to a $600,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, SWC will be able to help improve the lives of more residents in this underserved community.

Over the next three years, SWC’s Higher Education Center at National City (HEC) and its Family Resource Center (FRC) will be using the Hispanic Serving Institutions Assisting Communities (HSIAC) funds to address two urgent needs identified in National City’s 2000-2005 Consolidated Plan: Improving the economic welfare of families through job creation and employment training and increasing the number of Child Care Centers in the city.

To do that, the HEC will establish the Microenterprise Family Child Care Program for low income residents of National City, which will give academic and practical child care training in Spanish, as well as access to the comprehensive support services needed to start their own home-based, child care business. All course-work and services will be free.

People interested in participating in the Program must attend one of the information sessions that will take place Thursday, December 8, 2005 from 9:30-11:00 a.m. and Monday, December 12, 2005 from 6:30-8:00 p.m. The sessions will take place at the HEC, 880 National City Boulevard. To reserve a space, call (619) 216-6672. Free child care will be provided.

“The project will give our target population an opportunity to improve their economic well-being,” said Cynthia Nagura, the Program’s Director. “We’re looking forward to continuing our involvement in the community and improving the lives of the residents of National City.”

Through the Program, participants will have access to comprehensive coursework, free child care, and workshops on health and social services at the HEC’s Family Resource Center, which was established in 2002 with the first HSIAC grant received by SWC.

Additionally, SWC’s Small Business Development and International Trade Center will provide one-on-one business counseling and access to valuable business resources. ACCION, a non-profit, micro-lending loan agency will offer specialized loan opportunities. The YMCA Childcare Resource Service will sponsor a mentor program, partially subsidize required licensing fees and provide training on the complex licensing process.

Furthermore, National City Transit will provide free bus passes to participants with no other means of transportation, the National School District will provide staff time to assist with recruitment, and the National City Collaborative will bring together local community organizations to provide social services.

“We’ve tried to eliminate the major barriers many residents face with cost, access, language, the need for comprehensive support services, etc. We hope and expect there will be a great interest in the program. By early 2006 we will be accepting applications and selecting those candidates who are truly committed to completing the program and setting up their own childcare businesses,” said Nagura. The first training cycle will be offered in April 2006.

For additional information on the Microenterprise Family Child Care Program, contact the Family Resource Center at (619) 216-6672.

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