WORKFORCE BOARD: San Bernardino County Workforce Development Board
LOCATION: San Bernardino, CA
The Mojave High School Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Youth Program owes its decade of success to a variety of factors, including strong partnerships with the City of Hesperia, the Hesperia Unified School District, private businesses and its dedicated leadership.
The program, under the direction and oversight of the San Bernardino County Workforce Development Board (WDB) Youth Committee, helps eligible youth develop job skills, explore career options, learn leadership qualities, participate in adult and peer mentoring and counseling, and take advantage of On-the-Job Training.
Eighty percent of program participants either go on to a job, return to school or obtain a certificate that can earn them a higher wage down the road.
“Honestly I wasn’t expecting it to help me that much,” said Jonaiya Sansone-Rogers, who is pursuing a career in nursing thanks to the program. “But it turned out to be the most exciting thing ever. I wasn’t expecting to be working toward a career, but that’s what this program has really helped me to do.”
Jonaiya’s story is indicative of how individuals and the region’s economy benefit from job training initiatives such as the Mojave Youth Program.
The Mojave Youth Program requires a two-year commitment from each of its 95 participants. If a youth cannot attend work or class because of transportation issues, WIOA will arrange for bus passes or gas cards. Similarly, if books or tuition are too expensive WIOA will find a way to defray those costs.
“My books were taken care of — everything school related — they have provided for me,” Jonaiya said.
Director Werner Von der Heide said those who complete the two-year WIOA program enter the job market well prepared. At its core, the Mojave Valley program works to bolster the confidence of students and help them achieve their goals.
“There is a lot we can do to get these students through school and into the workforce,” he said. “We offer tutoring, study skills training, leadership development and personal counseling. And, there are other offerings like job placement assistance, resume preparation, interviewing skills, job shadowing, internships and career guidance. We are a one-stop shop.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Deana Olivares-Lambert, firstname.lastname@example.org