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November 8, 2023

Jobcorps Newhero

San Diego Job Corps Center (SDJCC) provides free career training and education for ages 1624. Job Corps services can be accessed at several locations around San Diego County, including our East County Career Center. We spoke with their regional Workforce Development Director, Sara Kende, to learn more about how the SDJCC is helping young adults thrive in the workforce.  

Why is workforce development important to your organization’s mission? 

Workforce development is the underlying ecosystem of our placement mission. SDJCC operates on the mission that we connect our students with the skills and education they need to get the career they want. As the nation’s largest residential career training program for more than 50 years, we firmly believe that we offer the skills that every student needs to be a sustainable, self-sufficient, long-term employee in today’s workforce. By collaborating with our communities, local and federal governments, partnering with organizations and providing cutting-edge training opportunities, SDJCC is contributing to developing a robust workforce ecosystem for today’s youth.  

Can you talk about some of the challenges our community faces and how you’re working to overcome them? 

Currently, one of the issues we have in our community is the ongoing growth of the asylum-seeking population at the San Ysidro border. As this population continues to grow, our students are becoming more involved and are seeking ways to help them. SDJCC has been proactive in communicating the opportunities and resources available to the asylum seeker migrants who qualify, such as providing career training, housing and work placement.    

Any partnership highlights you’d like to share? 

One partnership is our ongoing food and supply distribution through the YouSavedMe Foundation. Every other Friday, the organization comes to our campus to distribute food and supplies such as diapers, clothing and even pet food for students who need assistance with family needs. Other partnerships include Lionel University, which provides monthly health and fitness services for students; Sharia’s Closet, which offers additional career-ready clothing for students graduating with job placements; and Community Housing Works, a new partnership assisting with student housing services.  

How else is Jobs Corps impacting the community?  

We participate in several community events, such as the annual Imperial Beach Mayor’s Breakfast—where our culinary students display their career training by catering hors d’oeuvres and delicacies. Additionally, students attend council meetings to voice concerns and highlight student services. Students also participate in community beach clean ups as part of our community beautification projects.  

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