Background


On May 2, 2017 the East Palo Alto City Council adopted a resolution designating JobTrain as the entity to administer the new East Palo Alto Career Center, located at 2100 University Avenue, Suite C.  The facility would be a fully equip Career Center offering access to services such as: resume development and critique, tips on completing employment application, entrepreneurship coaching and financial planning.  Technical services offered are: computer literacy, communication and interviewing, marketing/branding yourself to potential employers and English as a Second Language classes and referrals to other regional programs and services as needed. 

On May 23, 2017 Forty-five residents and stakeholders representing diverse backgrounds and perspectives participated in a community meeting.  The meeting included a presentation on current JobTrain services and significant time for participant to provide input on the new Career Center.  Across three input groups, three questions were charged for discussion.

Questions:
  1. What barriers to employment have you experienced and what tools have you found to be helpful in finding a job?
  2. What employment resources are missing in East Palo Alto?
  3. What does success for the Career Center look like for the first year and in the longer-term?

From the three key questions 5 themes emerged:
  1. The unique experience of EPA and the need for customized programming and services, including: experiencing discrimination, learning the community and identifying strategies to meet needs
  2. Accessing Jobs: Removing barriers to access and increasing information flow regarding job opportunities, including: networking and job searching tools
  3. Training/Skills Building and Support Programs including mentorship, volunteer opportunities and technical skills training
  4. Partnerships including working with other community agencies and employers
  5. Promotion and Accessibility: Including hours of operation and outreach strategies

The East Palo Alto Career Center opened its doors November 27, 2017, and is currently offering access to the programs, services and support of which it is charged.