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Housing authority receives $30,000 grant to support youth summer program 

Housing authority receives $30,000 grant to support youth summer programFunds will enable twelve teens to participate in paid hands-on work experience, job skills training program

–Affordable Housing Paso Robles has announced that it has received $30,000 from Bank of America to help support its YouthWorks program. With help from the grant, six high-school-aged students from migrant families are paired with six student peers who are currently in the program to participate in a two-month paid summer program that provides hands-on work experience and job skills training.

Research shows that while children born into low-income families face barriers to success in each stage of life, intervening early and often can dramatically increase the number of children who chart a path toward economic mobility. Without access to career skills-building opportunities, many young people may be left behind from a fast-changing job market, leading to higher rates of youth unemployment. As local unemployment rates begin to improve and the economy slowly reopens, the ability to earn a paycheck is also essential to many young people
who may have been unable to work last year due to stay-at-home orders, and whose work is vital to helping their family pay for food and living costs.

“At YouthWorks we aim to intervene early and often in the lives of our students to help them achieve outcomes more positive than statistics would predict,” said Betian Webb, director of community services for the Paso Robles Housing Authority. “Local partnerships and support from organizations such as Bank of America allow us to continue to provide youth with employment experience, a paycheck and encouragement to create their own future story.”

Part of Paso Robles Housing Authority, YouthWorks has been working with low-income teens to provide hands-on job experience and essential job skills training for more than ten years. This summer, students will work closely with the Oak Park affordable housing community to develop skills in farming, trash maintenance, community area maintenance, and office work including pay roll and graphic design.

“Supporting job skills and placement programs as the economy begins to reopen is a top priority for Bank of America’s philanthropic capital to help get more people back to work in sustainable positions. YouthWorks plays a critical role in this effort by providing paid hands-on job experience and job training skills to teens from underprivileged households, which will have lasting effects on up-skilling our local workforce,” said Greg Bland, president, San Luis Obispo, Bank of America.

The grant will also expand YouthWorks summer program and provide all students with lunch and a two hour afternoon session focused on learning personal finance, interview skills, job applications, and resume building.

Affordable Housing Paso Robles (AHPR), affiliated with the Paso Robles Housing Authority (PRHA), develops and operates quality affordable housing that promotes quality of life to the greater Paso Robles community. Additionally, AHPR provides family and youth services that enhance their lives and their life options. AHPR provides services for the 341 households (~1000 individuals) of the Oak Park Community Apartments at the north end of Paso Robles and to low income families from all over North County. Last year we provided close to 48,000 services.

YouthWorks (YW) is the signature program of AHPR with the mission to teach youth leadership skills and job skills to prepare them for the world of work. YW began in 2011 with 6 high school students and now serves about 500 youth.

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The news staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote or edited this story from local contributors and press releases. The news staff can be reached at info@pasoroblesdailynews.com.