In San Diego county there are 38,000 opportunity youth—young adults ages 16–24 who are not working or in school. These young people account for 9.2% of the county’s youth population. And the youth disconnection rate is unevenly distributed among our young adults, impacting women and Black, Indigenous, and people of color at higher rates.
Most opportunity youth are high school graduates—the disconnection rate rises sharply as youth leave high school and struggle to find work or can afford higher education. This is a crucial inflection point in young adults’ lives and providing more support for the transition from high school to the job market, education or training is a key lever in reducing disconnection, supporting talent pipelines for employers and contributing to the overall health of our local economy.
Connect2Careers (C2C) represents a partnership between the Workforce Partnership and funders who support innovative youth employment programming. Through each program, we work directly with young adults to develop and support their career goals through work-readiness training, case management, job coaching and paid work experiences. Studies show when youth engage in programs like C2C and are better prepared for employment early on, they are more likely to earn higher wages across their lifetime, which benefits not only the individual but helps to build a more prosperous economy across our region.
The program partners with the following funders on direct youth services:
- Bank of America Charitable Foundation – Southeastern San Diego Live Well program
- City of San Diego – City Mentorship, Opportunity Youth Internship program
- County of San Diego – Southeastern San Diego Live Well program, School Break Externships
- Gap, Inc. – This Way Ahead
- The James Irvine Foundation
- San Diego Gas & Electric – Career Launch Academy 2.0
- Vista Unified School District – The Workforce Partnership on Campus
Program Year 2019 and 2020
- 679 received work-readiness training
- 672 placed in paid job experiences
- 968 received job coach/case management services
- 2,027 served by our online Career Portal
- From Classroom to Coach
- Intern success shows what happens when C2C, employers and youth work together
- From Always Applying to Advocating
In the News
- Hidden ally helped job seeker find work – ABC 10
- Career coach says it’s all about how you look for work in the Coronavirus economy – ABC 10
- City Heights Coffee House To Put 30 Youth On Career Pathway – KPBS
Opportunity Youth Research
- Initiate! A report on San Diego’s progress reducing youth disconnection (2018)
- Flip the Script: San Diego’s Opportunity Youth (2017)
To discuss funding opportunities for young adults in San Diego County, please contact Parina Parikh at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Funded in part by Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) funds provided by the California Department of Community Services and Development. This project is funded in whole or in part with Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program funds provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to the City of San Diego.