Stephen Colón is a CONNECT2Careers Manager with the San Diego Workforce Partnership. Here he describes where he’d invest a surprise donation, discusses what he likes best about working in workforce development and shares what he enjoys doing outside of the office.
If you had $30,000 to donate to a workforce development program, what would you want done with it?
I really believe in the power of technology to make a big difference in historically underserved communities. Right now, CONNECT2Careers (C2C) has a mobile iPad lab we take to schools and community centers so youth without computers at home can create a résumé and apply for jobs. If I had $30,000 to donate to a workforce development program, I’d expand that resource.
What do you like best about working in workforce development?
I absolutely love getting to see people take charge of their own lives. When you don’t have an income, it can feel like you’re totally out of control: you don’t get to decide where your next food source is, what your family gets to do for entertainment, or how you’re going to get around. Those things are determined instead by what public resources are available and affordable. People who have an income get to make more independent decisions. This is especially exciting for the young adults we work with, who are often getting a paycheck (and independence) for the very first time.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?
I love reading just about anything I can get my hands on. Right now, I’m reading Make Your Home Among Strangers by Jennine Capó Crucet, a book about a Latina first-generation college student, and I highly recommend it.