The San Diego Workforce Partnership (SDWP) has received a $1 million grant from The James Irvine Foundation to expand CONNECT2Careers (C2C), SDWP’s youth and young adult employment initiative. C2C addresses unemployment for 16-24 year olds throughout San Diego County by aligning the career goals of young adults with businesses that are investing in the future workforce. This is the largest privately funded grant that the SDWP has received.
“We are very grateful to have The James Irvine Foundation as a partner in connecting young adults in our region to education and employment,” says Peter Callstrom, CEO of SDWP. “More importantly, this provides more life-changing services for the people we serve. Many more young adults will have the opportunity to achieve their career goals as a result of this investment.”
The two-year grant will accelerate C2C’s efforts to serve 12,000 youth and young adults during 2017 and 2018 through SDWP’s custom technology platform that matches young adults with jobs in high-growth sectors. C2C is open to all 16-24 year-olds living in San Diego County, with an emphasis on serving opportunity youth – young adults (16-24) who are not in school or work. In 2016, C2C served over 4,000 youth and young adults through a team of peer job coaches, work-readiness training, and job placement services.
C2C’s nationally recognized data system provides the resources and tools that enable the C2C team to effectively engage employers and participants, match young adults with jobs, coordinate with partner agencies, communicate with youth via phone, email, and SMS text messages, and to track and report youth employment outcomes.
“Our goal is to promote and improve economic mobility by training and connecting low-income young adults to jobs that provide pathways to sustainable wages,” said Karmin Noar, director of C2C to La Prensa San Diego. “We understand that it takes an entire community to prepare and provide opportunity for all youth and young adults in San Diego. With this grant, we will be launching a number of initiatives to convene local partners that serve young adults, including our first annual Flip the Script summit.”
The Flip the Script youth summit will focus on developing a community action plan to reconnect the estimated 53,000 opportunity youth to education and employment in San Diego County. The event will gather a diverse group of San Diego young adults, employers, workforce professionals, service providers, educators, funders, community members and elected leaders to report on the first opportunity youth study. Don Howard, President and CEO of The James Irvine Foundation, will be the keynote speaker. For more information on “Flip The Script” summit that will be held April 13 at the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation, people can visit www.workforce.org/summit2017.