"Job" Well Done For YMO Residents and Employers

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When YMO was started several years ago I believe that one of the tenets of the program was to encourage the participating youth to pursue an educational program, whether vocational training or enrollment at the local community college. Our experience, however, has taught us that as important as education is as a fundamental component to long-term success, employment is the decisive factor to achieve independence.
So through the generous support of the Deutsch Foundation, Hillsides and a number of other providers of services to this population have set out to develop a curriculum. The curriculum aims to lead these young adults through a process that enhances their ability to secure employment and begin to establish the foundation of financial independence.
This past Sunday 60 Minutes aired a segment featuring a very innovative employment program that not only trains the unemployed, but also places them in jobs and pays them during an initial employment period. This mitigates the cost to employers who accept participants as interns. The end result is a dramatic increase in full-time employment. This program sounded very familiar to me because it is exactly what we do with the YMO residents that participate in our job readiness program.
Villa Sorriso in Pasadena
For the past several months we have paid the salary of a YMO resident who interned at a local restaurant. The restaurant provided this young man with professional training and a supportive environment and slowly, but surely he acquired skills and confidence. As the internship drew to a close, the young man applied for a position at the establishment and we got news yesterday that he has been hired as a full-time employee.
This young man is just the most recent example of the success of this effort. To all the young adults who have persevered through these internships and have been rewarded with not just employment, but equally as important, confidence and hope, congratulations! And, of course, to the employers who partner with us to make this innovative program possible, especially Karen Tanji of Villa Sorriso and Mark Mertens of A4, thank you for believing in these young people.
One youth at a time, in spite of the challenges, YMO and Hillsides make the extra effort to help all we serve achieve their dreams with milestones like employment.

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