Education to Careers

We believe that economic prosperity cannot be achieved by constructing buildings alone. The underlying support system must be made up of residents who have the skills they need to compete and succeed in today’s workforce.

We are creating a vibrant, livable, and economically prosperous community by working to improve educational offerings through advocacy and the attraction of additional resources, and by offering workforce training that bridges to continuing education and long-term employment for Opportunity Youth, ages 16-24 who are disconnected from work and school.

Stats-websiteUnemployment is in the double digits in many of the Diamond’s ten communities, and youth unemployment is alarming at more than 38%.

We accomplish this by providing training in high-demand creative industry jobs to Opportunity Youth via our creative industries program, Inspire Youth Careers. This program provides multiple on-ramps onto educational and/or career pathways with partners in various sectors.

Inspire Youth Careers

JCNI’s creative industries program fuses art and technology, providing job skills training that prepares Opportunity YOuth for creative technology careers, such as graphic design, web design and multi-media through a hands-on “earn to learn” model. In addition to their technical training, participants go through a soft skills boot camp and placed in paid transitional work experience that allows them to begin building their future.

Creative technology careers provide access to low-barrier, well-paying, flexible, and fulfilling employment. San Diego County’s creative industries are expected to grow substantially (21.4% to 34.9%).

Our strategy establishes creative industry pathways, developed in partnership with industry, education providers, and workforce agencies. Youth participants receive stackable badges within various training areas. Along with our partners, JCNI provides Opportunity Youth with an equal chance to benefit from San Diego’s job growth by preparing them for and connecting them to well-paying jobs.

Our goal is to place 200 Opportunity Youth in life sustaining wage jobs or on an educational pathway from 2017-2019.

Writerz Blok

Urban art powerhouse Writerz Blok channels youth expression into vibrant graffiti art. Since 2003, this group of artists has been at the forefront of community engagement and creative placemaking by transforming blight into beauty. The program provides a creative space for youth in the Diamond Neighborhoods to gain exposure to creative careers and serves as a primary gathering place for local youth as well as emerging and established artists and creative professionals.

Writerz Blok plays a pivotal role in our creative industries program by providing a space for hands-on instruction and an emerging social enterprise with design and print services that builds young entrepreneurs.

Through various events and programs, Writerz Blok attracts hundreds of visitors each month, engages residents, and activates spaces within the community. World renowned artists regularly visit the Writerz Blok yard to create original pieces of graffiti art on the many large walls available for artistic expression.