CONNECT2Careers celebrates successful summer program

September 10, 2014

CONNECT2Careers (C2C) experienced another successful summer connecting hundreds of youth with jobs. Youth will mark the winding down of the 2014 program at the C2C End-Of-Summer Celebration event on Sept. 16 at Junior Achievement San Diego.

C2C connected 334 youth with jobs at 176 employers throughout San Diego County this summer, exceeding last year’s numbers of 202 youth and 42 employers. 

In addition to the summer-only program, 374 youth were placed in a subsidized work opportunity. The youth placed in the subsidized program are part of a larger program, funded through the Workforce Investment Act, with components that will help them graduate high school, increase their math/reading skills, prepare them for the world of work, and/or attain a certificate or degree. 

“We look forward to expanding job opportunities and employer participation. Next summer, our goal is to place more than 1,000 youth. With public and private sector support, this is very achievable. We are optimistic the summer of 2015 will be a milestone year,” says Peter Callstrom, CEO of the San Diego Workforce Partnership.

More than 1,200 youth applied to C2C this year. In addition to job placement activities, C2C hosted 31 workshops designed to teach youth the soft skills and job search tools needed to succeed in their job search and in the workforce. All C2C applicants were invited to attend these workshops.

“C2C provides young adults with invaluable opportunities to explore career options, develop important work-readiness skills and bring home a paycheck. The fact that our applications nearly tripled from last year tells us that San Diego’s youth want to get to work,” says Callstrom.

By aligning the career aspirations and educational backgrounds of young adults with businesses committed to developing our emerging workforce, C2C creates a positive experience for both employers and youth. 

“CONNECT2Careers is a really valuable program,” says Victor Esquer, owner of Canine Lodge & Spa and a multi-year C2C employer participant. “With unemployment being what it is,, there needs to be more support for these types of youth employment programs. These are truly loyal employees, which, as an employer, is hard to come by these days.”

C2C will be celebrating the conclusion of its summer 2014 program with a C2C End-of-Summer Celebration event on Sept. 16 at Junior Achievement  San Diego. Former C2C participant Michael Gaulden will provide the keynote address, talking about his C2C experience and his road to UCLA. Junior Achievement will lead youth through one last workshop, providing them with important information about how to take the next steps in their careers. 

An initiative of SDWP, C2C prepares our region’s future workforce by providing youth with the education, skills and support necessary to obtain and maintain a job and by connecting them to meaningful paid work experiences. The City of San Diego sponsored C2C through Community Projects, Programs and Services (CPPS) funds and the city budget. In addition to the public supporters, New Horizons of San Diego and Buster Biofuels sponsored the end of year event on September 16. 

For additional information on how to support C2C, please visit c2csd.org