Department of Behavioral HealthSAN BERNARDINO, Calif. /California Newswire/ — California's San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board partnered with the Department of Behavioral Health to place 279 youth in summer jobs with local employers. The grant paid the wages to County youth ages 18-25 years old and provided transportation assistance as well as work readiness training prior to starting their jobs.

"This grant is affording these young people valuable hands-on work experience that will help them in their future endeavors," said Josie Gonzales, San Bernardino County Chair and Fifth District Supervisor. "This is a great shot in the arm for both our employers and our youth."

Hana Song, President of Le Tip in San Bernardino and Owner of Digital Color World, hired an intern to assist the board members of Le Tip. She has mentored three youth through Operation New Hope, a youth service provider with the Workforce Investment Board.

"All of the members feel that our intern, Ty Crawford is such a great blessing," she said. "He has been instrumental in helping plan a mixer this summer. He took the initiative to work with The Yard House to host our event, which is unheard of."

She hopes that when the summer program ends, they will be able to keep Crawford a bit longer.

"Not many people understand how the San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board's youth program and Operation New Hope help youth and the business community," she said. "Ty has gained such confidence, which is needed in a tough economy. Business owners and organizations need talented, young workers to assist in their operations."

"The employers who have participated in this program have not only received great benefits, but they have also made a significant investment in our future workforce," said Sandy Harmsen, executive director of the San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board. "By training and mentoring our youth, they are helping to create the next generation of employees, community leaders and entrepreneurs of our County."

The project will conclude on June 30, 2012 but employers who are interested in partnering with the San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board to offer future work experience may contact Emily Petrus at

About the Workforce Investment Board of San Bernardino County:

The Workforce Investment Board of San Bernardino County (WIB) is comprised of private business representatives and public partners appointed by the County of San Bernardino Board of Supervisors. The WIB strives to strengthen the skills of the County's workforce through partnerships with business, education and community-based organizations. The County of San Bernardino Board of Supervisors is committed to providing county resources, which generate jobs and investment.

The WIB, through the County of San Bernardino's Economic Development Agency and Workforce Development Department, operates the County of San Bernardino's Employment Resource Centers (ERCs) and Business Resource Centers (BRCs). The ERCs provide individuals with job training, placement and the tools to strengthen their skills to achieve a higher quality of life. The BRCs support and provide services to the County's businesses including employee recruitment.

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