The Riverside County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a program that will recruit youngsters to help support the community response to the deadly pandemic.
The $2 million federally funded program will provide each participant with a paid stipend, training and mentorship during their term.
Launching the Youth Community Corps is part of the county’s overall battle to save lives from COVID-19 – and provide job opportunities to one of the age groups hardest hit with unemployment.
“In addition to receiving immediate economic support, participants will acquire resume-building skills and make crucial connections,” said Heidi Marshall, director of Housing, Homeless Solutions, the county department overseeing the Youth Community Corps. “The participants will get job experience and should pick up key resume-building skills for future jobs, such as empathy and critical thinking.”
The county’s Youth Opportunity Center system and Youth Advisory Council will help launch the corps and further partnerships with community-based organizations and cities will build momentum. An important part of the project is the support provided to local nonprofits, assisting local food pantries, school lunch programs and helping municipal social service departments.
“We can’t forget how hard this pandemic is hitting our young people,” said Riverside County Supervisor Chuck Washington, Third District. “There have been so many job opportunities lost, internships canceled and college experiences shifted online. This is our way to offer financial assistance – and more importantly, hope – to our young people.”
Civic engagement opportunities provide that hope, Marshall said. The participants will be contributing to a community working together to overcome economic adversity and protecting the most vulnerable, she said.
Additionally, a large-scale marketing campaign will attempt to draw youth from all cities and those living in unincorporated county areas. The program is geared to reach a wide net of young people accessing the program.
The program is open to county residents 16- to 24-years-old. For more information and to apply, please visit www.RivCoWorkforce.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org for questions.