The YWCA of the Harbor Area developed a community, needs-based Workforce Development Program. We primarily serve women and girls in the Harbor Area (San Pedro, Wilmington, Harbor City and surrounding cities). The initial class has a comprehensive 50 hour curriculum designed to help our students become confident in obtaining and retaining jobs that involve digital skills.
The program launched in October 2021 with two full classes in both Spanish and English (8 students in each), with a wait list for the next session beginning in January 2022. The end goal of the program is to provide basic interpersonal job skills as well as technical training that will continue to help the students either return to the workforce with a higher level of skill or to acquire their first job. Many of the positions people were laid off from are no longer available, in many cases due to COVID related issues (including the closing of businesses and the lack of affordable childcare), therefore the need in this community is great for access to more job opportunities.
This program also assists in job preparation soft skills: resume writing, job search, interview preparation and follow through, as well as healthy on the job behaviors. Through a grant for the program, sponsored by Google as well as furniture donated by a local Charter School Organization, we were able to set up Technology Lab based classroom to teach the curriculum. As we work to continue and grow the program we are looking for resources to cover the costs for: instructors, advanced curriculum, marketing, student supplies, internet costs, equipment, etc., to ensure our students receive the training that will give them access to next level, higher paying jobs that promote financial independence.