County of Santa Clara Develops Internship Program for Disadvantaged Youth

​Intern & Earn Program to Increase Opportunities for Mentorship and Career Exploration

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF.— Today, the Santa Clara County Social Services Agency launched a new internship program aimed at breaking the cycle of generational poverty among its most vulnerable youth population. The Intern & Earn program will offer youth (ages 16-24) that are enrolled in the CalWORKs and Foster Care programs new opportunities for mentorship and career exploration.

Social Services Agency representatives were joined by Supervisor Dave Cortese and Supervisor Cindy Chavez at the County’s Employment Connection Center to formally introduce the program to the community and open the registration for youth summer internships.  The event was hosted at 1879 Senter Road in San Jose.

“We are glad to offer for the first time comprehensive year-round career development workshops and employment events to youth, that will help open a path for success,” said President Dave Cortese, County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors.  “We are committed to ensuring they have a safe and interactive environment that encourages their personal growth.” 

The Intern & Earn program will serve up to 400 youth, ages 16-24, who are enrolled in the CalWORKs and/or Foster Care program.  Services include a year-round program offering workshops, pre-employment skills development and employment events; and a six-week paid summer internship.

The Social Services Agency is working with Community Based Organizations, County departments and local businesses to make available internships involving office work and customer service in medical, health, and information systems fields.

“It is essential to give vulnerable youth the support they need to succeed,” said County of Santa Clara Supervisor Cindy Chavez, Chair of the Board’s Children, Seniors and Family Committee.  “The Intern and Earn program builds on the successful Summer Youth Employment Program model and expands it, offering tangible job training skills and employment opportunities year-round instead of just during the summer.”

Beginning in June and lasting up to 6-weeks, summer interns will be able to work up to 20 hours each week, at a pay rate of $15.00 per hour.  Through the summer, interns will gain work experience and exposure to mentors that can offer insight into career choices and the educational standards that lead to long-term gainful employment.

The Intern & Earn workshops will be designed to address the needs of youth entering the workforce, and will expose them to basic life skills and educational opportunities. Workshop modules include: career exploration and development, educational and aptitude assessment, workforce educational standards, vocational opportunities and requirements, social norms and expectations as they relate to employment, financial literacy and public service.  Employment events will focus on emerging job opportunities at specialized youth job fairs and recruitments that lead directly to employment.

“We are excited about the partnerships the Social Services Agency is forging with its community partners,” said Robert Menicocci, Director of Santa Clara County Social Services Agency.  This collaboration will help ensure CalWORKs and foster youth have access to supportive training, mentoring and career exploration opportunities. ”

To learn more about the Intern & Earn initiative, advocates and members of the community are encouraged to attend the CalWORKs Advisory meeting, hosted on the first Wednesday of each month at the CalWORKs Employment Services Orientation Room (1879 Senter Rd.  San Jose, CA 95112). Those interested in participating in the program, hosting a motivational employment based workshop, or serving as an Intern host, may contact the Employment Connection Center at 408-848-8788.

Media Contact: Laurel Anderson/Marina Hinestrosa, Office of Public Affairs, (408) 299-5119; Denise Boland, Social Services Agency, (408) 755-7735.        

Posted: April 18, 2017   

 

 

 

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