Our July Spotlight! is shining brightly on KRA Corporation’s newest addition to its California Workforce Services Team! Joining the Alameda County Business Development Group and the San Diego Metro Region Career Centers–both operated under the American Job Centers of California Network–is the Knowledge2Career Academy (K2C), a workforce-preparation program for Out-of-School, disconnected youth, 17-24.
Funded by the Pacific Gateway Workforce Development Board (PGWDB), and in consort with the City of Long Beach and other key partners, the KRA/K2C is totally committed to the future success of young residents and the economic development, growth, and stability of the community.
Long Beach and the PGWDB–whose members include business owners and corporate officials, community leaders, educators, entrepreneurs, and other area stakeholders–are collaborating to improve the economic vitality of the community by connecting adult and youth jobseekers to opportunities and resources that enable them to become financially stable, thereby creating a robust business environment that is connected to a well-trained, skilled labor force.
As a pivotal component of the endeavor, KRA/K2C focuses on workforce development activities that target careers in high-demand industry sectors. Youth are engaged in academic remediation, preparation for post-secondary education, work-readiness, job-skills training and certification, internships, and paid work experience activities. Personal assessment and development is also stressed, including financial literacy, leadership development, and civic participation–all critical elements that contribute to successful labor-force preparation.
To support employers that need to fill high-demand positions, the KRA/K2C Academy offers youth the opportunity to gain nationally recognized credentials as Certified Logistics Associates; Certified Microsoft Office Specialists; Certification in Customer Service, earned through the National Retail Federation; and National Work Readiness Certification, offered through the PGWBD.
Challenged by a local youth unemployment rate of 20.7%, more than twice the national average, internships will provide another important vehicle for workforce-readiness. In response to the “Long Beach CALL”, an innovation of the Office of Mayor Robert Garcia, the Long Beach Unified School District; Long Beach City College; California State University, Long Beach; and the PGWBD have all pledged to intensify their efforts in providing more internship opportunities for youth enrolled in the KRA/K2C program.
At the most recent PGWDB All Staff Meeting, Nick Schultz, Executive Director, introduced Shawna Wright, K2C Program Manager, and other KRA staff, to an august assembly of community advocates, collaborators, and partners.
On the event, Shawna commented, “Working with such dedicated, passionate partners has made KRA’s transition to Long Beach seamless! We are all so excited to be contributing to such an innovative program for the development of Long Beach’s youth, the community’s future leaders.”