In Long Beach, California, our Spotlight! is shining brightly on the KRA-proprietary Knowledge2Career Academy (K2C) and the Educational Partnership High School (EPHS), a relationship that began during the 2015-2016 start-up year, when JP Elma, Pacific Gateway Contract Liaison, introduced Shawna Wright, KRA/K2C Project Director, to EPHS’ Racquel Welch-Kitchen, College & Career Coordinator, and Joel Lovelace, Counselor/Teacher.
Shawna reports, “Immediately, we recognized the benefits our out-of-school youth could derive from a KRA/K2C-EPHS partnership, and subsequently developed innovative strategies for connecting youth to opportunities for sustainable workforce success, for themselves and for our City’s economic growth and stability.”
Through KRA/K2C, youth receive targeted career coaching, occupational-skills development, industry-recognized certification, and business-sponsored workplace experience. EPHS provides High School graduation opportunities, crediting KRA/K2C work-readiness participation toward their diplomas, with the potential for college acceptance and/or increased workforce marketability and employment options.
Per a recent EPHS Data Report, youth who participated in the program achieved outstanding results:
- 17 graduated High School, with 10 accepted into college
- 27 participated in either job-skills training or worksite-experience with local businesses
- 25 received high-school credits toward their diplomas
- 22 earned National Work Readiness Credential certification
And, demonstrating KRA/K2C’s position as a “go-to partner” for local businesses needing certified, educated, and qualified workers, 15 youth entered the workforce—at an average $13/hour—with employers that provide services in the Entertainment; Event Management; Food, Grocery, and Restaurant; Healthcare; Information Sciences; Insurance; and Travel industry sectors.
Shawna concluded, “Partnering with EPHS has resulted in a much stronger support system to combat the barriers to gainful employment faced by our youth. Together, with our valued business partners, we are making great strides in providing Long Beach youth with educational and career opportunities for productive and successful futures.”