Wednesday, June 20 , 2018, 10:04 pm | Fair 63º


Workforce Development Board Earns $2 Million in Grants, Develops Jobs Program for Santa Maria Youth

The Federal Department of Labor awarded the Workforce Development Board of Santa Barbara County a $2 million grant to prepare and connect Santa Maria youth to employment opportunities.

The City of Santa Maria is one of 11 communities across the country to receive the competitive grant funding and the only awardee in California.

The grant will fund the launch and expansion of an innovative program that provides young people with summer and year-round jobs and connects them to long-term career pathways.

Santa Maria Summer Jobs & Beyond will serve 260 young adults between the ages of 16-24 (both in school and out of school).

The initiative brings together nine different partners to provide services and develop paid work experience opportunities, including summer and year-round employment.

The Santa Barbara County Workforce Development Board will lead the collaborative. The partners include:

» Santa Maria Chamber of Commerce

» Center for Employment Training

» Santa Barbara County Education Office (ROP)

» Four Square Church

» Santa Maria Parks and Recreation Department

» Community Health Center

» Goodwill Industries

» Santa Maria Joint Union High School District

The project will include the following components: parent engagement and education, jobs academy and career camp, pre-employment training, job placement, career connections and supportive follow-up.

The goal of the project is to provide disadvantaged youth with summer jobs, decrease violence in the community and ensure youth obtain the skills necessary to land their first job.

“I am excited at the level of commitment from everyone involved in this initiative,” said Fifth District Supervisor Steve Lavagnino. “This is a great opportunity for young people to build life-long skills and for our community to come together to support them.”

The Workforce Development Board is dedicated to serving the workforce needs of businesses, adults, laid-off workers and youth throughout Santa Barbara County. It is a public/private partnership created by the Federal Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WIOA) and is staffed by the County of Santa Barbara.

Lilla Megyei is a senior administrative office professional at the Workforce Development Board of Santa Barbara County.


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