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KPBS Midday Edition

San Diego will soon be hiring youth to work in community service-oriented jobs

CA Volunteers Jobs Corps.png
L.A. County & USC Medical Center
Angeleno Corps volunteer Faith Salgado works on completing her 10-month service internship with the support staff for Patient Relations and Guest Services at the L.A. County and USC Medical Center, in this undated photo.

California launched a new jobs program last month, aimed at helping underserved youth find a job, while improving communities across the state. The Californians For All Youth Jobs Corps program allocated $185 million to be divided among cities and counties across California.

RELATED: How 'Californians For All College Corps' works

The program is rolling out in two phases. The first phase will invest $150 million among the 13 largest cities in the state. Phase two will invest $35 million in smaller counties and cities.


San Diego is one of the cities participating in the first phase of the project. The other cities include Anaheim, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Oakland, Riverside and San Francisco.

Josh Fryday, chief service officer of California Volunteers, joined KPBS Midday Edition to talk about the new program. He said the need for a jobs program for youth is high.

"We've seen this pandemic have an incredible affect on young people, on unemployment and especially on communities of color and those that have been hardest hit," Fryday said. "So this is a time for the state to invest in not just helping our communities by creating jobs where people are going to be serving their communities in really important ways, but this is also a chance for us to invest in people's futures."

The program will help create opportunities for Californians between the ages of 16 and 30.

"This program is very intentional about focusing on hiring the most underserved youth. Youth that are low-income, youth that are unemployed or out of school, that are justice involved, are transitioning from foster care, or engaged with mental health or substance abuse systems," Fryday said.


The work that will be available through the program support work on variety of issues including climate change, food insecurity, COVID-19 recovery, education disparities and river clean-ups, Fryday said.

"It's a win for the young people who are going to get a job that pays with dignity at a minimum of $15 an hour, often higher in some cities, and it's a win for the community because these young people are going to be serving the community and doing work that matters," Fryday said.

He said the program will also provide services to help the applicants with resume preparation, leadership and network training.

Fryday said people can get more information about the program through California Volunteers as each city rolls out the program.