San Diego Workforce Partnership
The San Diego School-to-Career Youth Council is the primary policy body that addresses youth issues under the Workforce Investment Act. The Council faces the challenge of addressing barriers for a significant number of disconnected young people. Nearly 4,000 teens are not attending school and not working and around 15,000 young adults ages 18 to 24 are also not attending school and not working. The Council is the driving force behind emerging or youth workforce development, and it is a collaborative partnership among employers, educators, community-based organizations, parents and youth.
San Diego Community College District has recently developed a Career Pathways for After School Staff (CPASS), modeled after work around Career Advancement Academies, in partnership with San Diego Workforce Partnerships, Children's Initiative and San Diego City College (SDCC). CPASS is in the first year of this bridge program that offers basic skill remediation, college readiness courses, and selected coursework in career pathways, along with work experience and employment in after-school facilities. The courses are taught in cohorts that create learning communities targeted at WIA-eligible young adults with an eighth grade competency. The program also offers a counselor throughout the entirety of the program to help navigate the system. The Chancellor committed $1.5 million statewide for a two-year project for five of these programs. SDWP is providing the planning and the development and used its provider network to help enroll participants in community college and connect to employment. Youth maintain their case management from WIA program's supportive services component and receive counseling and find support staff at the SDCC campus. Youth receive $800 in support services to help pay for transportation, child care, and other living expenses.
The San Diego Workforce Partnership, in collaboration with local Youth Service Providers, the Children's Initiative, local afterschool employers, Mesa College, and San Diego State University will be launching an Urban Teachers Fellowship program. The program will connect youth ages 17 to 24 that are at risk of being gang-involved, lack knowledge of postsecondary training opportunities and the regional labor market, are deficient in basic skills, and have learning disabilities and/or mental health issues.
The goal of the SDUTF program is to prepare youth ages 17 to 24, who at risk of becoming gang- involved, for employment in the after-school workforce and to create career pathways leading to community and teaching careers in San Diego County. The program will train and place youth in a two-year degree program at Mesa College leading to a teaching pathway at San Diego State University. In addition to academic training, SDUTF will address the need for social support and guidance by including a support network to work directly with each participant to assist them with their academic and social needs, including case management and tutoring. Proposed outcomes include completion of a bridge program, placement in after-school employment, completion of an associate's degree, and transfer to an institution for BA/BS degree work and a credential.
The San Diego Workforce Partnership awarded six community planning grants to help direct community investment strategies across systems, foster inter-agency agreements and relationships, and encourage the formation and the continued growth of collaborations that focus on the development of coordinated educational and workforce strategies for youth. The Workforce Partnership staff as well as members of the Capacity Building Sub-Committee on the Youth Council is participating in each of the six collaborations.
ILS/WIA foster youth services is a partnership between San Diego County's Independent Living Services with the Workforce Partnership to provide, under one joint contract, both independent living skills plus workforce development skills to youth transitioning from the system. Youth receive work readiness training, work preparation, employment opportunities, youth development services and independent living services such as identifying educational barriers, long-term mentoring, incentives to reinforce learning to encourage participation in activities and/or achievement of goals, individual service strategies with a youth-centered approach, and follow-up services to assist youth sustaining a successful transition.
San Pasqual Academy (SPA). SPA is a residential educational campus designed specifically for foster teens that live and learn at the academy as they prepare for college and/or a career path. San Pasqual Academy is the first residential education campus for foster youth in the nation and was developed in response to the critical issues that many foster youth experience.
The San Diego County Office of Education's (SDCOE) Juvenile Court and Community Schools (JCCS) Youth One-Stop Career Centers offer various programs to prepare JCCS students ages 16 to 21 for job and career prospects.
Another example of San Diego's efforts in juvenile justice is the Youthful Offender Re-Entry Program. This re-entry program provides assessment, work-readiness training, and behavior modification training while a young person is incarcerated. Subsequently, it provides post-release intensive case management, educational support, and job placement. The program also helps identify employers, eliminate employment barriers, and help youth obtain a GED or diploma.