Cuesta College’s Youth One-Stop was recently awarded a grant from the Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County’s Youth Opportunities Fund. The grant will pay a little over $38,000 over three years to fund a project titled “First Steps to Success.” The project will serve approximately 90 transitional aged youth ages 18-25 by providing work readiness training and certification in customer service.


“I am thrilled and grateful to be a part of creating opportunities for a population that has high unemployment, limited job skills, and difficulty competing in the workplace,” said Cuesta College’s Youth Programs Supervisor Jennifer Kirn. “This is an exciting time and we at the Youth One-Stop look forward to working with more young people and helping them embark on their ‘First Steps to Success.’”

The Youth One-Stop is a testing site for the National Retail Federation Foundation Certificate.  The project will train young adults through a series of workshops in customer service.  The youth can then take an on-line exam that, upon passing, will certify them for three years in customer service.  The project will also support assisting youth with completing applications and building resumes and cover letters. The One-Stop will match the young people with local employers, such as Smart and Final, Kohl’s, TJ Maxx, and Marshall’s, and then monitor their progress on the job.

“The Community Foundation SLO County recognizes the importance of providing opportunities for youth as they transition into adulthood,” said CFSLOC Director of Grants and Programs Janice Fong Wolf. “This is a critical time, when adult mentorship and coaching can make all the difference. First Steps to Success directly addresses this type of support for local at-risk youth.”

For the past 2.5 years, Cuesta College has run the Youth One-Stop in Grover Beach, a satellite of San Luis Obispo County’s Business and Career One-Stop Centers. The site is responsible for the academic and career-oriented programs offered to disadvantaged county youth who are between the ages of 16 and 25-years-old. The Youth One-Stop, which is funded through the youth portion of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), provides a multitude of free services, including local job searches, resume building workshops and even interview clothing to the young adults it services. The center also facilitates other youth programs including Successful Launch, which is funded through the Mental Health Services Act (Proposition 63) and the John Muir Charter School which serves young adults who have returned to school to obtain a high school diploma through academic and vocational training.

Lauren Milbourne / (805) 546-3018 / / Posted: 2/28/13