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San Diego Youth Service Provider Network

While others learn to surf and sail on the inviting waters of San Diego area beaches, youth service professionals in the Greater San Diego area are developing and enhancing their knowledge, skills and abilities. In May, July and September over 80 youth service professionals participated in professional development training on Employer Engagement and Relationships, Program Design and Delivery and Assessment and Individualized Planning with Youth. The trainings are part of contracted services with NYEC to provide professional development assessment and training to youth service providers within the San Diego Workforce Partnership. The mission of the Workforce Partnership - in operation since 1974 and an NYEC member - is to foster economic growth and prosperity through education, training and lifelong learning.

Although the assessment and training process are customized to meet the needs of the San Diego providers, the structure and training foundation are based on the national Youth Service Professionals Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (YSP/KSA) Initiative implemented by the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Y) and supported by the Department of Labor's  Office of Disability Employment Policy. During this initiative, NYEC has served as a lead partner in the synthesis of a core set of baseline competencies for youth workers, producing a background paper and developing training modules. The work features competencies and KSAs with specific relevance to those working with youth in the workforce development system and providing specific guidance on effectively supporting youth with disabilities.

The professional development trainings emphasize the intersections of youth development and workforce development and incorporate case studies, best practices, peer-to-peer networking and group and individual problem-solving. In addition, trainers highlight lessons through their own experiences and experiences of others within the NYEC network. Each session relates to a core set of competencies and provides reference to or actual hands-on resources that can be used by youth workers in their day-to-day work. During the May training, participants learned how to develop or enhance existing relationships with employers and address issues or concerns they had when working with youth in general and specific youth populations-for example court appointed youth or youth in the foster care system. The July session focused on program design and delivery and incorporated NYEC PEPNet tools as a guide for involving various stakeholders in the development and measuring stages of programming. The September Session focused on formal and informal assessment approaches and effective ways to work with youth in setting and implementing career and personal goals. All of the trainings were delivered by GeMar Neloms, Director of Professional Development for NYEC alongside representatives from two NYEC member organizations: Tracie Scott-Contreras from the Madera County Workforce Development Office, CA  who co-facilitated in May; and Karine Kannikkenberg from the Kern High School District, CA who co-facilitated in July.

Organizations participating in the trainings serve youth primarily ages 12-25 in the Greater San Diego area. All of the organizations work across various youth populations including youth with disabilities, youth formerly in gangs or incarcerated, youth currently or formerly in foster care, and youth who are transitioning from homeless situations.

Assisting One-Stop Career Centers in Their Work With Young People

In October, NYEC continued its work in the San Diego area by crafting and delivering training to staff representing the following One Stop Career Centers:  South County, Chula Vista, East County, El Cajon, North County Coastal, Oceanside South Metro and San Diego Metro. The training, ??Positive Youth Engagement in an Adult-focused Workforce Environment,?? focused on youth centered strategies for engaging and working with young people in One Stop Career Centers - agencies traditionally adult focused and driven in their approaches to workforce development.

For additional information on NYEC's professional development efforts, contact GeMar Neloms, Director of Professional Development at [email protected]

For additional information on the San Diego Workforce Partnership go to

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