The Workforce Partnership to Provide Laptops to Help Young Adults in Their Job Search
To prepare underserved young adults in their search for careers and continuing education, The Conrad Prebys Foundation provided the Workforce Partnership with a $50,000 donation to procure 60 laptops equipped with Microsoft Office for program graduates of the Southeastern San Diego Live Well Career Training (Live Well) program. The program is currently accepting applications. “The Conrad Prebys Foundation recognizes the importance of helping organizations address the digital divide faced by many San Diegans today,” said Erin Decker, Director of Grantmaking at The Conrad Prebys Foundation. “We are honored to play a role in ensuring the young adults served through the San Diego Workforce Partnership’s program receive the training, resources and tools they need to become empowered and successful, promoting the overall wellbeing of our community.”
With an increasing amount of job interviews and higher-education courses occurring online, digital equity is now more important than ever. Administered by the Workforce Partnership and funded by the County of San Diego, Health and Human Services Agency, the San Diego Workforce Partnership’s program provides job-readiness training and career navigation services to young adults ages 18–24 who reside in southeastern San Diego.
As illustrated in Workforce’s 2022 Opportunity Youth report, 40,000 young adults ages 16–24 in San Diego were out of work and out of school.
Recently, the San Diego Promise Zone initiative identified digital equity and inclusion as a key component of our economic recovery—especially as it relates to the imperative to improve educational opportunities and creating jobs. “Leveling the playing field for young adults from underserved communities is vital to developing San Diego County’s next generation workforce and identifying the individuals who will lead our region into the future,” said Nathan Fletcher, Chair, San Diego County Board of Supervisors. “Unbottling their true potential can be realized by offering access to the tools and resources their counterparts in more affluent communities are able to access; that’s what this collaboration between the San Diego Workforce Partnership, the Conrad Prebys Foundation and the County’s Live Well program is working to achieve. I appreciate everyone’s contribution and wish the young adults participating in this initiative all the best.”
When it comes to broadband adoption rates in the Promise Zone—the area in San Diego spanning the East Village and Barrio Logan east to Encanto and Emerald Hills where the City’s most disadvantaged and underserved communities live—over 28% of residents lack broadband internet access and 16% of households lack computers. Of the 84% of households who own some sort of device, 18% have only a smartphone or tablet, which is often not sufficient for work and school (ACS 2014-18).
This means that a high portion of Promise Zone residents face challenges in accessing e-government services from their homes, participating in the civic engagement opportunities and working remotely or engaging in distance learning. The grants and laptops will be invaluable in our shared mission to close the digital divide among San Diego’s most vulnerable youth.