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March 22, 2017

SAN DIEGO, CA — The San Diego Workforce Partnership (SDWP) has received a $1 million grant from The James Irvine Foundation to expand CONNECT2Careers (C2C), SDWP’s youth and young adult employment initiative. C2C addresses unemployment for 16-24 year olds throughout San Diego County by aligning the career goals of young adults with businesses that are investing in our future workforce. This is the largest privately-funded grant that the SDWP has received.

“We are very grateful to have The James Irvine Foundation as a partner in connecting young adults in our region to education and employment,” says Peter Callstrom, CEO, SDWP. “More importantly, this provides more life-changing services for the people we serve. Many more young adults will have the opportunity to achieve their career goals as a result of this investment.”

Irvine Senior Program Officer, Kelley D. Gulley, added, ”We are excited about this new partnership with the San Diego Workforce Partnership that will enhance our insight into how a Workforce Development Board uses innovative technology to broker the connection to sustainable employment for San Diego’s opportunity youth. This is a promising approach for a region that needs workers and for young adults who need the opportunity to secure employment. We are eager to learn how SDWP’s model and successes can inform others in the state.”

The two-year grant will accelerate C2C’s efforts to serve 12,000 youth and young adults during 2017 and 2018 through SDWP’s custom technology platform that matches young adults with jobs in high-growth sectors. C2C is open to all 16-24 year-olds living in San Diego County, with an emphasis on serving opportunity youth – young adults (16-24) who are not in school or work. In 2016, C2C served over 4,000 youth and young adults through a team of peer job coaches, work-readiness training, and job placement services.

C2C’s nationally recognized data system provides the resources and tools that enable the C2C team to effectively engage employers and participants, match young adults with jobs, coordinate with partner agencies, communicate with youth via phone, email, and SMS text messages, and to track and report youth employment outcomes.

The James Irvine Foundation grant will also support SDWP’s first annual “Flip the Script” youth summit which will focus on developing a community action plan to reconnect the estimated 53,000 opportunity youth to education and employment in San Diego County. Don Howard, President and CEO of The James Irvine Foundation, will be a keynote speaker. The event will be held April 13 at the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation. For more information on ‘Flip The Script’, go to:


An initiative of SDWP, C2C prepares our region’s future workforce by providing young adults with the education, skills and support necessary to obtain and maintain a job and by connecting them to meaningful paid work experiences. For additional information on how to support, partner or hire, please visit

San Diego Workforce Partnership
SDWP is the leader for innovative workforce solutions in San Diego County. It funds job training programs that enable adults and youth to develop the skills and knowledge needed for careers that are in demand. SDWP also provides current and projected labor market research on the region’s workforce trends and key industries. Its vision is to ensure that every business in our region has access to a skilled workforce and every job seeker has access to meaningful employment. For more information, visit

Heather Milne Barger
(619) 228-2904

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