Summer’s journey navigating foster care and pursuing her culinary dreams

May 8, 2024

Summer Hero

At just 19 years old, Summer’s workforce journey is just getting started. Born and raised in East Oakland, influenced by her mother’s strong work ethic and desire for independence, she began working at 16. With the help of different community organizations and nonprofits like the San Diego Workforce Partnership (SDWP), as a part of the Access to Career Pathways for Foster Youth program, she is offered a reliable support system while she navigates her career journey.

Jennifer’s journey from exiting Social Security to reentering the workforce

March 28, 2024

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After almost seven years of receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) after being diagnosed with depression, anxiety and PTSD, Jennifer Smith found herself ready to test her resolve to head back into the workforce. Through the Ticket to Work program and with encouragement from her program specialist, Georgina Garcia, at the San Diego Workforce Partnership, Jennifer developed the tools and fortitude to successfully restart her career in healthcare administration.

Investing in their employees brings higher ROI—and employee satisfaction—for MRIaudio

January 31, 2024

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For Spencer Howe and John Hornbrook of MRIaudio, investing in their employees is part of their company’s ethos. With support from the California Manufacturing Technology Consulting and the Workforce Partnership, MRIaudio was able to provide Lean 6 Sigma Training to their staff at a fraction of the cost. Read on to learn how Incumbent Worker Training funds made this possible. 

The Changing Landscape of the Construction Industry: From Apprenticeships to Female Leaders 

January 9, 2024

Fy23 Annual Report Arp Fow Jenifer Jesse

Being the only woman at a construction job site is not new for Jenifer Arce and Jesse Gomez-Villeda. In fact, that imbalance has only helped them thrive. Jenifer and Jesse are ironworkers by trade and instruct pre-apprentices in the Apprenticeship Readiness Program, a collaboration between the San Diego Workforce Partnership and the SD Building Trades Council. Here, they shared us why representation in construction matters.

Connecting the Dots to Build a Career Pathway into Healthcare

January 9, 2024

Fy23 Annual Report Israel Guzman Photo Seated

Starting a career in healthcare required Israel Guzman to overcome countless obstacles. Through the Healthcare Administration Pathways program and the support from career navigators, he not only completed the program but also landed a job at Scripps. He tells us about the importance of shifting mindsets and staying true to yourself.

Post-release services offer the formerly incarcerated a second chance in the workforce

December 6, 2023

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Nashid Mateen has held a variety of job positions, from working at Jack in the Box to working as a medical biller, over his life. Following a twisted turn of fate, Nashid found himself involved with the justice system. Now released, Nashid is on a journey to finding his place in the workforce with the help of the San Diego Workforce Partnership’s Reentry Works services and other community partners.

Jeniffer Mendiola is paving the way to bring more women into apprenticeships

November 8, 2023

Jeniffer Hero

Jeniffer Mendiola has had a passion for working with her hands from an early age, influenced by her uncles working in construction. The passion is made clear when looking at her work history, which reflects a pattern of physical if not mobile elements; from emergency medical technician (EMT) to welding and driving for Uber, her career journey took her through various career paths and industries. It was when she received an email from San Diego Continuing Education that she was able to find her way to becoming a certified electrician by way of the San Diego Workforce Partnership’s Construction Career Jumpstart (CCJ) program.

A former salon owner’s journey of resilience and career transformation

October 5, 2023


Having spent three decades as a small business owner, managing two salons in Encinitas and downtown San Diego, life threw a curveball at Teresa Koecher. In 2014, she faced a life-altering accident, leaving her physically incapable of working in the same capacity as before and starting her life anew. With the help of friends and her church community, she could pick herself up and change course.

Empowering young women of color through technology and education

September 4, 2023

Shellie Enews

In 2018, after spending 20 years raising her daughters as a stay-at-home mom, Shellie Baxter created Our Genetic Legacy (OGL), a nonprofit educational publishing house focusing on amplifying the voices and stories of People of Color. Shellie used our TechHire program to provide paid work experiences for young female data analysts and drone pilots.

How internships ignited Jose’s path to success

August 7, 2023

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Jose Tamayo is a 23-year-old from National City who has had an eventful journey to finding his passion and career path. Knowing that college wasn’t the right fit for him, Jose decided to explore other opportunities. He participated in the Ocean Discovery Institute as an AmeriCorps intern and later landed an internship through the San Diego Workforce Partnerships.