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Youth Programs Success Stories


Meet Jordan - Inglewood

Workforce Challenge: Jordan Paige, an Inglewood resident and recent Morningside High School graduate, was seeking employment to help his mother with living expenses, his senior year expenses and to save money for college because his mother had been recently laid off. Mr. Paige had no idea how to apply for a job and lacked job readiness skills, but he pushed himself to seek for assistance through the opportunities offered at the Inglewood Youth Department. After graduating high school, June 2017, he applied to college and intended to attend until he could no longer financially support that decision. His mother couldn’t help out and his father no longer wanted to support him, so he turned to the Inglewood Youth Department for career opportunities.

Workforce Solution: Mr. Paige attended an orientation held at the Inglewood Youth Department for the Fit for Gold Program where he learned about the youth work opportunity programs. After completing an orientation and eligibility requirements Mr. Paige qualified for the Fit for Gold program. He was given a fitness and mentoring/tutoring training before

being placed at Payne Elementary School. Mr. Paige had no difficulty adjusting to working with children, he utilized the skills he learned through his training. Rapidly Mr. Paige was praised by his supervisor, and other peers. Mr. Paige had expressed interest in the architecture field and was advised by his case manager to attend a workshop the Youth Department would be hosting with a guest speaker that would have information in the career. While attending, Mr. Paige made a connection that in the following weeks gave him a job; a job where he was the youngest in the field doing something unheard of for his age: Construction Management, as an intern in a managerial role with Balfour Beatty.

Outcome and Benefits: Mr. Paige gained the confidence and job readiness skills necessary to remain employed and receive pay at $18/hr. His intern assignment came to an end but because of this Intern position, which led him to many networking events, gave him the opportunity to network and get a job as an architectural design intern. Mr. Paige is responsible for programs created to inform and assist at-risk youth with career opportunities. He’s working at ZGF Architects LLP and is making $17 /hour with benefits and working fulltime.

“I thank the Workforce for everything they've done to help me and hope they continue their outreach capabilities with more financial resources due to my personal experience.”

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Meet Connie - Lawndale

Workforce Challenge: After earning her degree in Sociology in 2015 from UC Riverside, Connie Choi found it extremely challenging to gain real work experience that would launch her into a career that would interest her. Deciding that working in fast food was not giving her the useful skills she needed to advance in the work force, she visited the South Bay Business & Career Center in Torrance in the Spring of 2017 to seek employment help.

Workforce Solution: One Stop staff worked with Connie on her interviewing skills and then referred her to L3 Communications in Torrance to interview for a paid internship position.

Outcome and Benefits: Connie was accepted for the position and during the course of her internship she impressed the Human Resources Manager. When her contract was completed she was offered a full-time position as a Computer Systems Specialist Assistant.

“I had the amazing opportunity to explore a field I had never thought about, gained real work experience that will help me for the long term, gained exposure to working with professionals and gained wonderful mentors. Lastly, I gained the opportunity to show the company I interned for what I could offer, which resulted in being hired full-time.”

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Meet Warren - Lomita

Workforce Challenge: Warren Taylor’s goals were to graduate from high school, continue his education by enrolling in college and find a job to help financially at home. He had participated in past summer youth programs, but was unsuccessful in obtaining a job because he was too young.

Workforce Solution: Warren had previously participated in the Fit for Gold Tutoring & Fitness Academy and summer youth programs. He received encouragement from staff to bring his grades up. Warren was also placed in the Blueprint for Workplace Success training where he gained the skills to find employment.

Outcome and Benefits: In one semester Warren was able to catch up and graduate with
his classmates and start college at Los Angeles Harbor College, where he will be studying Business. He also found employment at Burlington Coat Factory. Warren believes this is only a stepping stone to get him to his career.

“The Torrance One-Stop provided me with work readiness training where they helped me with my resume

and taught me to apply for jobs on my own. My recommendation to other youth is to never give up even

if you are faced with challenges.”


Meet Carolina - Torrance

Workforce Challenge: Torrance resident Carolina, 24, was eager to capitalize on her recent Communications Degree she had just earned from California State University Northridge, but wasn’t having much success in securing work in her chosen field of marketing and social media.

Workforce Solution: While working at a restaurant in Redondo Beach she happened to have a conversation with one of their regular customers who had an administrative assistant position open in her Marketing Department at a local school district. She also told her about the job search services that were available at the South Bay Workforce Investment Board (SBWIB). Unfortunately, the administrative assistant position was filled before Carolina could apply. Though deeply disappointed that she wasn’t able to move in to her chosen career path, Carolina kept her self-confidence and decided to move forward and visited the SBWIB’s Torrance One-Stop Business & Career Center.

Outcome and Benefits: Carolina attended an orientation and was eventually put into the Youth Paid Work Experience program. Her case worker told her about a temporary Marketing & Social Media opening at the Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce so Carolina applied and was selected. Upon completing her contract, Carolina was hired full time and given the position of Director of Communications.

“From the start, we had a good feeling about Carolina’s abilities and knowledge,” said Mark Lipps, President & CEO of the chamber. “Her personality and eagerness to learn and serve the public is totally amazing,” he further noted.

Carolina was very grateful for the opportunity she received through the One-Stop Center, noting, “Even in your darkest time, you have to stay strong, be positive, believe in yourself and say yes to opportunities.”

Meet Aamir - Inglewood

Workforce Challenge: Aamir graduated high school in Detroit Michigan, the state was going through an economic decline. Being a recent high school graduate with no employment background made finding employment hard for Aamir. He reached out to a distant relative in Inglewood, California to seek employment in Inglewood. Aamir said. “I arrived at LAX Airport with $80.00, one suitcase and ready for a new journey in life.” He had to give a portion for rent. Aamir went to 50 companies to fill out applications, but had no resume because he did not know what it was. He landed a job at a restaurant and benefited from free meals. By his third month, he was able to purchase a used car for $300.00, which kept breaking down needing several repair and made him late for work causing to be terminated from his job. In addition, he was left without a home because he could no longer pay rent. He started making poor decisions and got into trouble with the law.

Workforce Solution: Aamir came across the One - Stop Business and Career Center in Inglewood and decided to check what they had to offer. He was directed to the youth department, got temporary housing assistance and enrolled in the Blueprint for Workplace

Success Workshop where he learned interviewing skills and how to complete a resume. He was enrolled into a paid work experience (PWE) program in order to strengthen his resume.

Outcome and Benefits: Aamir was placed at the Youth Department in the One-Stop Center then later placed at City Hall in Inglewood where he acquired more skills working at the City Attorney’s office. He did very well while working for the attorney and was hired by the city full-time.

“I am now a City employee working in the City Attorney’s office; I now have a career not a job.” "Coming into One Stop, you get resources and service that you can take advantage of that will change your life, if you are serious. The One Stop in Inglewood has changed my life into being a positive person and being happy with who I am now.”

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Meet Kashifu Grandberry – Inglewood

Workforce Challenge:

Kashifu Grandberry, Inglewood High School student at the time, was placed under her maternal grandmother’s care, along with her sister due to their mother’s drug use. Their grandmother was retired and on a limited income. To not feel like a burden to her grandmother, Kashifu decided to search for a job. Although, being in school made it challenging for her along with speaking in a soft voice.

Workforce solution: 

Kashifu heard from her school about the Inglewood One-Stop and their career center that assisted with finding jobs for high school students. She started going to the after school job club and worked on her interviewing skills and creating a resume. She also worked on elevating her voice. With the One-Stop services she worked in the summer program.

Outcome and Benefits:

Kashifu interviewed with McDonalds and got the job. A staff member spoke to the manager afterwards and was told, Kashifu was the top interviewing person out of the nine people that were interviewed. She has since graduated high school with honors, got hired at Home Depot working in customer services, attends West Los Angeles College and signed up for the military in November 2017. She stated, “I am happy to be an American and want to service my county.”

“Going to the job club has been like a second family to me, the staff is wonderful and always patient. The guidance that I received from the job club empowered the direction to strive towards success in my life.”

Meet Spencer Shortland – Torrance

Workforce Challenge:

Spencer Shortland, a 24 year old from Torrance, was seeking a job so he could earn the money he needed for tuition to continue his education at Los Angeles Harbor College. He had applied to 30 employers and had 20 interviews but was not selected. Since he didn’t have any work experience, Spencer turned to the Torrance One-Stop seeking advice and employment opportunities.

Workforce solution: 

The One-Stop staff determined that Spencer was eligible for the youth program and conducted mock interviews to prepare him for an interview with L3 Communications in Torrance in a work experience internship.  He was selected for the position and began a three-month on-the-job training program.

Outcome and Benefits:

Upon completion of his internship, L3 staff was very impressed with his performance and hired Spencer into a full time position. Spencer will also be returning to college and major in the aerospace field.

"The One-Stop Center helped me get back on my feet by getting me into this internship with L3 and then a regular job.  And now I’m being trained to fill an important position in the defense contractor/aerospace industry. They even want to support me through college and help pay for any certifications I get. Thanks to my case work Yesenia Tercero and the SBWIB, my life is back on track and my future looks bright. I would recommend SBWIB to anyone looking to start their career."

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