The San Diego
Foundation Thursday announced that seven local nonprofits will
receive $180,000 in grants to develop programs to draw young people to
careers in green industries.
The funds are directed toward youths aged 16-24 who are neither in
school nor working – a segment dubbed “opportunity youth” by officials.
“Thanks to our local nonprofit partners, this program will help
opportunity youth develop personally and professionally, while growing
the resilience of our local green economy,” said Christiana
DeBenedict, director of environment initiatives for the foundation.
According to a report published by the San Diego Workforce Partnership,
there are an estimated 417,000 people in the San Diego region between
16 and 24 years of age. Of that group, 31,000 do not attend classes or
“These grants are the next step in our new countywide initiative to
help young people secure the green careers that will define not only
their future but the future of our entire region,” county Supervisor
Terra Lawson- Remer said in a statement. “These investments in a youth
green jobs program are an acknowledgment that our economy can’t fully
recover until young people recover – and have equitable access to the
green economy of tomorrow.”
Grant funding was provided by the county as part of the Youth
Environmental/Recreation Corp. started last year following a proposal
from Lawson-Remer and fellow Supervisor Nora Vargas.
Seven local nonprofits each received grants of $20,000 or $30,000:
Urban Corps of San Diego County, Environmental Health Coalition of San
Diego, Ocean Discovery Institute, Indigenous Regeneration, Project New
Village, Casa Familiar and Tree San Diego.
Some of the efforts funded by the grants include farm
apprenticeships for Native youth interested in sustainable farming,
recruitment for a work-learning program and training for careers in
The county’s program also includes a collaboration with the
Workforce Partnership to place eligible youth in paid positions at
– City News Service
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