Page 5 - Heart of Hoag February 2016
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Through the highly personalized job training she received at YES, Ruth MacLean applied for and got a cashier’s job at Mothers Market.
Hoag Says YES to Supporting Youth Employment Service
Program gives young adults the skills they need to secure and maintain meaningful employment
For more than 15 years, Hoag has supported the mission of Youth Employment Service (YES), a local nonpro t organization offering programs that help young people improve their employability, career choices and quality of life.
Founded by volunteers who believed that employment and the lessons learned from meaningful work are critical for youths’ positive development, YES has served as a bridge between young people seeking employment and the business community seeking capable and enthusiastic employees.
Last year, more than 370 individuals between the ages of 16-24 participated in the employment skills training workshops, personal  nance and money management classes, and mock interview sessions through YES’ Costa Mesa of ce.
Executive Director Wendy Weeks is working to make that number grow in the years to come.
“Watching someone transform into a con dent, capable and driven young adult through the skills they learn at YES is the most rewarding experience,” Weeks said. “We want more young adults in the community to realize their personal worth and identify their strengths, so they can secure and maintain meaningful employment.”
YES’ newest initiatives bring job-skills training directly into the community through partnerships with Newport-Mesa high schools including Estancia High School and Early College High School, Orange County nonpro ts and the Mayor of Huntington Beach.
“Bringing YES’ resources directly to students and making our services more easily accessible allows us to reach a greater number of young people,” Weeks said. “They have such a strong drive to succeed and it’s incredible to be a part of their journey to success.”
The hands-on, individualized job training at YES teaches youth the employment process through life-skills building, as well as pre-employment and job retention skills training. Youth are referred to good and meaningful jobs in their own communities, which helps them experience the value and
satisfaction of a solid day’s work, enhance their skills and contribute to a thriving economy.
Ruth MacLean is a great example of the power of YES.
After participating in the program’s pre-employment skills training classes, Ruth applied for a job, putting into action the skills she acquired during a one-on-one interview with a local company.
“Going through the YES program was the best thing that could have happened to
me at this point in my life,” said Ruth, who since June 2015 has worked as a cashier at Mothers Market in Costa Mesa. “The classes and the staff gave me the skills and the con dence I needed to get a job and help support myself. I love what I’m doing, and I’m so thankful to Wendy Weeks and everyone at YES for believing in me and seeing my potential.”
“The values taught at YES inspire our community’s youth to achieve their dreams,” Weeks explained. “Young people’s personal growth, quality of life, and ability to be self-reliant are enhanced through successful employment experiences. This allows them to understand their strengths and recognize their options early in their adulthood.
“It’s wonderful to hear from the employers of our students,” Weeks added. “They are always impressed by how prepared and motivated they are.”

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