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August 5, 2014

On Aug. 4, KPBS aired a segment on summer youth employment that featured San Diego Workforce Partnership President and CEO, Peter Callstrom, and Manpower San Diego CEO, Phil Blair. Callstrom discussed the importance of programs like CONNECT2Careers in helping young people prepare for and find summer jobs.

Following is an excerpt from the interview. Watch the full interview here.

Where did all the summer jobs go?

A recent Brookings Institution survey ranked San Diego 79th out of 100 metropolitan areas for youth employment based on 2012 Census figures. The report had the area’s employment rate for teens ages 16 to 19 at only 23 percent.

In 2000, the rate of youth summer employment in San Diego was around 40 percent.

San Diego has programs aimed at helping young people get summer jobs and work experience, but consistent funding has been a problem.

Pete Callstrom, CEO of San Diego Workforce Partnership, said federal funding “used to be quite heavy” for youth employment programs, but the government subsidies haven’t been as generous in recent years.

In San Diego, Callstrom said, the job market also is unusually competitive for teens.

“We’re a very unique region with very high-skill (jobs) and a lot of service positions at the same time, but it’s ultra competitive,” he said.

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