City of Merced, CS Partners with County for Youth Jobs

The Merced County Administration Building located at 2222 M Street in Merced, Calif. on Wednesday, June 17, 2020.

The Merced County Administration Building located at 2222 M Street in Merced, Calif. on Wednesday, June 17, 2020.

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Young residents of La Merced looking for work will soon be able to benefit from a youth employment training plan aimed at promoting sustainable careers.

The initiative was launched last year, when Merced executives allocated more than $1 million in American Rescue Plan Act federal dollars to provide workforce development to local youth.

The Merced County Board of Supervisors took the next step on Tuesday by approving a contract with the City of Merced for a youth work experience program.

“I think it’s a good move,” County Supervisor Daron McDaniel said before voting in favor of the initiative.

The County Workforce Investment Department will administer the program. Director of Workforce Investment Erick Serrato described the initiative as a “new program” aimed at providing young people not just with jobs, but with sustainable careers.

“(The program is) going to leverage that money into new ways to start long-term careers, so they’re not just doing summer jobs, but really learning the skills that will move them forward in the twenties and beyond,” Serrato told Tuesday. Supervisory board meeting.

The contract extends from May to June 2024 and is designed to enroll 400 young people over two years. More details about the program will be defined through a collaborative process with Merced youth. Those details will be released later in May, according to county documents.

Youth participants will take part in work and employment readiness activities designed to lead to careers, professional development and educational opportunities.

The program will help young people between the ages of 16 and 24 through an apprenticeship and training model where participants are paid when they complete 20 hours of job readiness training and an average of 100 hours of temporary work in small local businesses. Participants will earn minimum wage.

Merced College will act as a provider of job readiness training with an emphasis on customer service and other soft skills, according to county documents.

The funds will also go towards other learning and training models, including on-the-job training to connect older youth to permanent positions that pay higher wages.

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Abbie Lauten-Scrivner is a reporter for the Merced Sun-Star. It covers the town of Atwater and the county of Merced. Abbie holds a Bachelor of Science in Journalism and Public Relations from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

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