Speaker 1: (00:00)
A new jobs program aims to help underserved youth while improving communities across California. The state is investing $185 million in Californians for All Youth Employment Corps, where 16- to 30-year-olds facing a variety of challenges can get their first chance at a career. San Diego will seem over 19 million from the program. The second largest state allowance. California volunteers, Josh Friday, and Josh, welcome to the show, join me for more information on the program.
Speaker 2: (00:34)
Nice to be with you, California
Speaker 1: (00:36)
Already has active job clusters. Why do we need new Californians for all basic youth employment programs?
Speaker 2: (00:44)
We need this brand new program, which is a collaboration between California volunteers and local governments across the state, because the need is so high. We have seen this pandemic have an incredible effect on unemployed youth and especially communities of color. And those were the hardest hit. So it’s hard for the state to invest not just to help our communities by creating jobs where people are going to serve their communities in a really important way. But it’s also a chance for us to invest in people’s future and the governor and the legislature were very passionate about that. And that’s why they wanted to create this program
Speaker 1: (01:17)
Who is it meant to help, but what kind of young people with what kind of challenges
Speaker 2: (01:22)
This program is very intentional to focus on hiring the most underserved youth who are low income youth who are unemployed or out of school who are involved in justice, who are transitioning from foster care or engaged in mental health or addictions systems. We are very committed to making sure that we target this population that is investing in it. We call them to serve and we give them a chance to succeed in their careers.
Speaker 1: (01:48)
And what types of jobs and vocational training will be offered.
Speaker 2: (01:52)
Each person who goes through this program will have full services from their city. This includes everything from help with preparing a resume to leadership training and networking training. And these young people will do a variety of critical work on issues like climate change and food insecurity. COVID 19 recovery. They will work on education disparities in communities. They’re going to be doing river cleanups, uh, and climate work, urban greening, and really a variety of work that the city deems important to the whole community, which is why we really think it’s a such a win-win program. It’s a victory for young people who will get a decently paid job at a minimum of $15 an hour, often higher in some cities. And it’s a victory for the community because these young people are going to serve the community and do work that matters.
Speaker 1: (02:39)
Tell us about case management for youth involved in the program. Because you’re going to come with a somewhat troubled background. We
Speaker 2: (02:47)
By researching and learning what other programs exist, what has worked and what hasn’t worked from best practices, it’s really essential to provide comprehensive services to these young people, to ensure that they have support, that they receive training, that at the end of the program they hold certificates with certain skills that will enable them to embark on new careers. So we made sure that out of the $185 million allocated to cities and counties across California, cities and counties had the ability to use some of that money, not just to pay those kids, but also to pay those really big investments. services.
Speaker 1: (03:23)
Now the money for the new Job Corps program, as you say, is split between cities and counties, will each city be able to decide how best to use the money?
Speaker 2: (03:33)
We were very intentional about making sure this program was flexible. We wanted to make sure that mayors and local governments, uh, could use that money to meet the needs of their community. So, although we have provided some guidelines, such as young people must be between the ages of 16 and 30 and they must meet one of the important conditions regarding being low income or underemployed or being involved in justice, we ensured that these mayors and local government leaders had the ability to put these young people to work in a way that helped their community. So yes, we have built some flexibility into this program. And
Speaker 1: (04:08)
How long is the new Job Corps program supposed to last?
Speaker 2: (04:12)
This program is funded by the legislature and governors for the next two years and cities and local governments will have the discretion to decide whether they want to set it up as a summer program or a one-year program. But right now, we are focused on making this project a success for the next two years now.
Speaker 1: (04:28)
What are your hopes for the young people who will be involved in the programme, will their participation help them start a career?
Speaker 2: (04:36)
Our hope is that we not only invest in young people so that they can start a career and be able to be on the path to a successful career, but we also encourage them to pursue a career in public service, to a career where they can work. It’s meaningful to the community, meaningful and useful to society at large. And we really hope that with this program, with the mentoring, it will come with the different training. It’s going to come with, that we’re not just creating jobs, but we’re creating jobs where people are committed to serving for the rest of their lives. And that’s what really excites us with this new program.
Speaker 1: (05:08)
How do young people enroll in
Speaker 2: (05:10)
Program? Young people can enroll in their cities as cities roll out this program, cities will select young people. And we just launched the first phase of this program, which represents 150 million investments in the 13 largest cities in the State of California. We will be launching phase two very soon, which is the additional $35 million for small towns and counties who apply through a competitive process. So, if your city is one of the cities participating in this, you can apply through the city. Or many cities will also work with local community organizations, local community organizations to provide real employment opportunities. And you can also apply through them.
Speaker 1: (05:49)
Okay. Next, I spoke with California volunteers, Services Director Josh Friday, about the new Californians for all Youth Job Corps program. Thank you very much Josh. Thank you.