Shaina Gross is the vice president of client services at the San Diego Workforce Partnership. Here she tell us about her work during the pandemic and a professional moment she’s proud of.
How has your work changed during the pandemic?
Ironically, I started my job with the Workforce Partnership on March 16, 2020, which was the same day that the stay-at-home order went into effect countywide! So, I had to get to know all of my colleagues virtually, and wasn’t able to visit our physical locations in the community. Work during the pandemic means you have to be much more intentional and proactive in building relationships, hearing from customers and connecting with the community.
What professional moment or project are you most proud of?
I am most proud of how we included youth in the development and evaluation of our recent youth RFP. Every four years we have a competitive process to select organizations that we will fund to provide services to youth throughout the County. This year we had youth internships to help us design the actual application and score the proposals that came in. By including the lived experience of youth that have experienced homelessness, or youth who have been involved with the justice system, we were able to design a program that is more relevant to them and will be more successful in helping youth achieve their education and employment goals.
What do you like best about working in workforce development?
I have a foundation in public health and have seen how the social determinants of health can truly impact someone’s life. Employment provides incredible opportunities for individuals and families. Having a family-sustaining income can have such a huge positive ripple effect for multiple generations and I’m honored to work in a field that can open so many doors for people.