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Funding on the way to employ hundreds of underserved youth in Sacramento, Stockton

The city of Sacramento will receive $6.9 million and the city of Stockton will receive $4.3 million as part of a youth jobs corps program announced by the state.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A new program announced Thursday by Gov. Gavin Newsom's California Volunteers department is slated to help hundreds of underserved youth find jobs in Sacramento and Stockton.

The new program, called the Californians For All Youth Jobs Corps, partners the state government with California's 13 largest cities, which will collectively receive $150 million in funding for the program.

Both Sacramento and Stockton fall on the state's list of 13 largest cities, which means both will receive funding based off population. Sacramento is slated to receive $6,998,984, while Stockton has been allocated $4,355,097.

The program's funding will be used to hire young people between the ages of 16 and 30 to work on jobs that focus on climate change, food insecurity, and COVID-19 recovery. 

Underserved youth, including those who are unemployed or out of school, are in or transitioning from foster care, who are engaged with mental health or substance abuse systems, and who have low incomes are being prioritized for the program.

Josh Fryday, California's chief service officer says the new funding is the first phase of a two part process outlined in Gov. Newsom's 2021 state budget and advocated for by former Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs.  

Moving forward, $35 million to support the program will be given to counties and smaller cities around the state which have yet to be selected.

"This program will be intentional about focusing hiring on underserved populations," Fryday said during a press conference. "We see Governor Newsom's bold vision for creating a state where we're engaging our young people to help tackle our biggest problems, coming into fruition."

According to Mary Lynne, communications director for Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, the city of Sacramento will use the millions of dollars to serve 799 youth over two years starting in the summer.

Part of Sacramento's plan to use the funding will include hiring people ages 16 through 24 for city work experience during the summer. For those 18 to 30 years old, Sacramento will offer a four-month on-the-job training program. 

Lynne says Sacramento will also select four people ages 16 to 30 to participate in a paid, year-long city fellowship. 

Those involved in Sacramento's program will be given access to public sector bootcamps and non-profits that will provide job coaching. 

"The goal is to expose our young people and young adults to the variety of career options in the public and non-profit sectors," Lynne wrote in a statement.

Lynne says the city is still working on an application for the job corps program.

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In Stockton, once the city's grant application for the funding is formally approved, Mayor Kevin Lincoln says some of the funds will be given to community organizations involved in youth workforce development. 

"We will issue a Request for Proposal seeking sub-grantees," Lincoln said in a statement. "The program goals are to increase youth engagement, develop career pathways, and strengthen the city’s capacity to address key focus areas."

Stockton City Manager Harry Black says the city is looking to develop a youth employment program for this summer for people who fall in the jobs corps' younger age bracket.

He says a year-round initiative, still being worked on, will be set up for people who fall in the older bracket of the age range. 

"We are engaged in discussions with several different community based organizations in terms of getting ideas and thoughts on how to best leverage this funding," Black said.

The cities of Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Fresno, Long Beach, Oakland, Bakersfield, Anaheim, Santa Ana, and Riverside also received millions of dollars in the first round of funding for the program. 

The launch of the youth jobs corps comes just over a week after the same department announced a college service program.

The Californians For All College Corps program gives students at some state colleges up to $10,000 for 450 hours of community service work.

All participants in the newly announced youth jobs corps will receive a pay of at least $15 per hour. 

An application for the second round of funding is open now for cities with a population of under 300,000 people and all counties in the state until Feb. 15.

Those ages 16 to 30 interested in the jobs corps program can fill out an interest form on California Volunteers' website for information on programming in specific cities. 

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