SOURCE: San Bernardino Workforce Investment Board

San Bernardino Workforce Investment Board

February 22, 2011 12:20 ET

San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, Workforce Investment Board and Team Up to Help Youth Prepare for Careers

"Making Your Future Count" Workshops Offer Hope for More Than 1,500 of the County's Unemployed and At-Risk Youth

SAN BERNARDINO, CA--(Marketwire - February 22, 2011) - Continuing its support of young people facing obstacles to employment, the County of San Bernardino's Workforce Investment Board, whose members are appointed by the County's Board of Supervisors, recently partnered with to bring a series of workshops titled, "Making Your Future Count." Each workshop helps youth participants identify a future goal and develop a realistic plan to achieve it. 

When Alyssa Borgfield, 19, enrolled at the PAL (Provisional Accelerated Learning) Center, she had no hope and no plan for her future. Once she met her new career mentor, everything changed. Finally, there was someone who cared about her and who could help her develop a career plan.

The County of San Bernardino Board of Supervisors invests county resources in projects which immediately generate jobs and utilize county programs in a manner which maximizes job creation. "We are committed to supporting programs that help our county's future workforce develop the skills they need to build careers in our county," said Chair Josie Gonzales, Fifth District Supervisor. "This partnership not only creates hope for our young people, but it helps create a skilled workforce that makes our county attractive for business and investment."

Workshop facilitator Yvonne Williams is a nationally known author and talk show host who has inspired youth across the country with her story about growing up in poverty and beating incredible odds to achieve her dream career. She credits the PAL Center for changing the way she thought about her future.

"Making Your Future Count" workshops are designed to guide youth to a career path that best suits them by identifying their interests and connecting those to a career. The program also shows youth how to access post secondary education, community college, universities, vocational schools, financial aid, student loans, entrepreneurship, vocational training and job placement. 

Monster's "Making Your Future Count" program is an organization of educators in the business of improving lives by teaching, motivating and empowering youth of all ages through live, in-person interactive presentations. By May 5, 2011, it is expected more than 1,500 county youth ages 16-21, many who face significant obstacles to employment such as homelessness, teen parenting and poverty, will have participated in the six-month series of career path and positive life choice workshops.

These workshops are accessible to all youth enrolled in the County's federally funded youth programs. Eligibility requirements apply.

The Workforce Investment Board has funded 11 youth job centers in 2010 which served more than 1,200 youth with career counseling, reading and math remediation, tutoring, alternative secondary schooling, vocational training, leadership development and job placement. 

"It is not a cliché that youth are our future," said Sandy Harmsen, Executive Director of the Workforce Investment Board and Director of the Workforce Development Department for San Bernardino County. "These youth services create opportunities for our future workforce to earn a degree, certificate or a paid internship, and obtain much needed career skills."

Borgfield is working toward entering a certified nursing assistant training program, with the eventual goal of becoming a registered nurse. "Right now it's hard to find a job because everyone wants you to have experience. The PAL Center and the workshop have helped me see beyond the obstacles and create a plan to achieve my goal," she says proudly.

Provisional Accelerated Learning (PAL) Center is a community-based organization that is easily accessible to residents and provides quality, comprehensive educational services, with an emphasis on individuality, cultural diversity and an appreciation for tolerance. Residents who are interested in PAL Center programs are invited to visit:

About the Workforce Investment Board of San Bernardino County
The Workforce Investment Board of San Bernardino County is comprised of private business representatives and public partners appointed by the County Board of Supervisors. The Board strives to strengthen the skills of the County's workforce through partnerships with business, education and community-based organizations.

The Workforce Investment Board, through the County's Economic Development Agency and Workforce Development Department, operates the County's Employment Resource Centers (ERCs) and Business Resource Centers (BRCs). The ERCs provide individuals with job training, placement and the tools to strengthen their skills to achieve a higher quality of life. The BRCs support and provide services to the County's businesses including employee recruitment.

The County's Economic Development Agency and Workforce Development Department has focused its efforts on competing globally for investment, retraining and finding employment for those who have lost jobs or are under-employed, and developing a more highly-educated and trained workforce.

Contact Information

  • Media Contacts:
    Sandy Harmsen
    Workforce Investment Board

    Jessica McLeish