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August 25, 2014

On Aug. 22, San Diego Workforce Partnership CEO Peter Callstrom was featured on the U-T’s Community Spotlight radio program, hosted by Drew Schlosberg. Callstrom covered a variety of workforce topics, including youth employment, in-demand jobs, long-term unemployment, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and more.

Related to youth employment, Callstrom described SDWP’s summer youth program, CONNECT2Careers, which provides work-readiness training to eligible San Diego youth ages 14–21. “What we’re trying to do is get our young adults plugged into careers that are in demand in our region,” he said. “We have to be proactive to help the youth understand what is out there so that they’re prepared.” He called on employers to hire youth through the program to help prepare the region’s future workforce.

Callstrom also discussed Platform to Employment, a new SDWP initiative for helping the long-term unemployed (LTU) get back to work. The program offers LTU individuals intensive and comprehensive training, and employers the opportunity to evaluate P2E participants as potential employees risk-free. He explained that the key to the program is private funding. “We’re looking for local investors who can step up to the plate and help us get another cohort going because this is a really amazing ROI,” he said. “When we can get folks back to work; they’re now taxpayers again. Beyond that economic piece, it’s about giving people hope and getting them back in the workforce. And when we can do that, we can change lives.”

Click here to listen to the full program.

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