SAN DIEGO, CA – Education, business and political leaders joined forces today to demonstrate their commitment to the expansion of the “One San Diego Skills to Succeed” program that places young adults in internships and summer jobs.
At a press conference held on the Illumina campus, regional leaders touted the benefits of expanding the program. Its expansion was made possible by a $13.2 million workforce development grant awarded to the San Diego County College and Career Readiness Consortium.
Dr. Angelica Suarez, Southwestern College’s vice president of student affairs, welcomed dozens of partners at the event.
“Community colleges are often the bridge between the K-12 system and high skill, high demand, high wage careers,” Suarez said. “A tight link between our leaders and industry partners and our educational systems is the only way that we will be able to set our students up for success.”
San Diego May Kevin Faulconer lauded the efforts, saying it makes the San Diego region a jobs powerhouse.
“Speaking as one voice, one region gives us a tremendous competitive advantage,” Faulconer said.
The mayor invited his political colleagues and the owner of Hunter Industries manufacturing to speak about the advantages of hiring high school and college students as interns.
Southwestern College student Maria del Carmen Alonso praised her college faculty for encouraging her to pursue her passion for journalism, and she spoke of the impact an internship at Univision and Telemundo had on her future.
“I believe businesses play an important part in the development of students when they give the opportunity of internships,” Alonso said. “You can learn what work is like in the real world. I realized I have the capability to start my own internet television channel. I know it’s not an easy task, but I know it’s possible for dreams to come true as long as we work hard to achieve them and someone believes in us.”
As she completed her speech, she turned to Mayor Faulconer and asked him to be the first guest on her new television channel.
Following the news conference, each person in attendance signed the pledge to continue working together to expand job opportunities for young adults.