City of Long Beach
Public Information Office
333 W. Ocean Blvd,
Long Beach, CA 90802
The City of Long Beach has received a $1 million U.S. Department of Labor grant to provide career training for 250 youth at risk of dropping out of high school, becoming involved in the criminal justice system, or already hampered by juvenile records. The City was one of only five organizations nationwide to receive the Pathways to Justice Careers grant.
“It is imperative that we do all we can to make sure our youth are trained and able to find work,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “This grant provides 250 young people with the career skills they need to succeed and meet the needs of our local employers.”
The Pathways to Justice Careers grant will support the Promising Adults, Tomorrow’s Hope (PATH) Program, an innovative court diversion program aimed at giving nonviolent, first-time offenders a second chance.
“When I proposed this idea, we set out a goal to use education and jobs as a tool to place disconnected youth on the right track, and to bring down federal resources to support the program,” said Vice Mayor Rex Richardson, who sponsored a June 2015 City Council agenda item that requested City Prosecutor Doug Haubert and City Manager Patrick H. West work with the Pacific Gateway Workforce Investment Network (Pacific Gateway) to develop the PATH Program. "It's remarkable today that we are receiving one of the final awards of the Obama administration, and are one of only five cities to receive this award."
“Our goal is to reduce crime by providing meaningful job training as an alternative to traditional prosecution,” said City Prosecutor Doug Haubert. “This effort will save taxpayer money while making our city safer.”
The Pathways to Justice Careers grant funding will enable Pacific Gateway to expose at-risk youth ages 16 to 21 to justice and emergency services careers; mentor and encourage participants to complete their education; and help them avoid engaging or re-engaging with the criminal justice system.
Supportive services are individualized to each participating youth and include case management; career exploration of justice and emergency management fields; mentoring via peers, recruited professionals, employers, and school staff; program incentives; and civic engagement/leadership development activities.
The youth will learn how to complete a career pathway program and understand the spectrum of job options in various fields, such as police officers or detectives, forensic science technicians, probation officers, paralegals, law clerks, court reporters, firefighters and emergency medical technicians.
Work experience programs have been shown to have a positive impact on school attendance, dropout rates and school engagement.
The grants announced today build on other efforts, including the Labor Department’s “Face Forward” initiative to help justice-involved youth overcome early barriers to employment through occupational training and credentials that will help them open the door to career success.
This grant’s goal also aligns closely with President Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative, which seeks to close opportunity gaps still faced by too many young people and often by boys and young men of color.