Educational Services Division
Workforce Investment Act
Investing in our future workforce by providing Watsonville youth with support service and opportunities to:
- Improve academic achievement
- Prepare for and succeed in employment
- Develop as citizens and leaders
- Develop students’ communication skills
- Provide youth with opportunities beyond the classroom to further explore career options
- Encourage students to share their experiences with their families and friends
- Innovate and individualize the learning experience
- Give students a competitive edge in the job market
- Collaborate with community partners to establish mentoring and guidance for youth
- Earn Industry Certification for Achieving Competency in the Following:
- Interpersonal Communication
- Occupational Safety
- Basic Math and Reading Ability
- Customer Service Skills
- Work Ethics
- Personal Skills and Work Habits
- Basic Cashiering
The Sueños Program offers youth eligible for services under the Workforce Investment Act with workforce development skills that will prepare them for a competitive labor market. The Sueños Program provides youth with a supportive learning environment, encourages them to set attainable career goals, connects them to community resources, and helps youth establish valuable and lasting relationships. The Sueños Program is committed to delivering services to eligible youth in Watsonville and strives to help bring the future dreams of these youth to fruition. The Sueños Team takes pride in guiding and mentoring the youth in reaching their highest potential.
Youth participating in our program attend Sueños Academy where they develop their workforce development skills, basic workplace math and reading skills, interviewing skills, career exploration, goal setting, resume writing, job searching, and financial planning. The Academy is a powerful tool for developing "expanded student learning opportunities...that lead to successful preparation for the world of work and higher education opportunities" (County Superintendent's Goal 3.2a). Sueños Academy has been serving youth in Santa Cruz County since 2000. The academy has collaborated on many projects to enrich career and academic development for youth, providing "support to students who are unsuccessful in comprehensive programs by developing partnerships and creating programs that address service gaps" (Goal 3.4b). The success of this collaboration has resulted in career mentoring, internships, job shadowing, and work experience, all of which have contributed to the achievement of individual goals set by the youth participants. The bilingual staff of the academy includes a certified teacher, certified guidance counselor, work placement coordinator, and career mentor.
Other opportunities offered by the Sueños Program are paid work experience placements, job shadowing, field trips, career panels, academic assistance, comprehensive guidance counseling, monetary incentives and more.
Sueños Academy has recently partnered with the Seaside Company of Santa Cruz to create an industry-driven certification curriculum to provide youth participants with training that will prepare them for entry level positions in career paths related to tourism, hospitality and customer service. The certification is earned after youth participants complete a nine week course in which they gain competency in industry requirements such as occupational safety, customer service, and cash handling. Upon completion of certification and work experience, the youth participants will have gained sufficient experience and the training necessary to enter the local workforce and prepare for future careers.
The Sueños Program is located at 17 Aspen Way in Watsonville. Interested youth can pick up applications there or contact Sueños staff for further information.
Work Experience Specialist
Sueños Success Stories
A 20 year old who had dropped out of school enrolled in the Sueños Program. With the help of Sueños staff she also enrolled at Cabrillo College’s Digital Bridge Academy and successfully completed it. She participated in many Sueños leadership and mentoring activities. She is very interested in veterinary science and, having fulfilled her work experience placement at the Pajaro Valley Animal Shelter, continues to pursue a career in veterinary science through ROP.
A Sueños participant’s career goal was to become a certificated pilot. He was placed at Ocean Aviation in Watsonville. He paid for his flight lessons by washing planes and doing general maintenance work at the airport. Sueños and Santa Cruz County Office of Education staff assisted him with letters of recommendation and assistance in completing the Pajaro Valley Aviation Academy Scholarship Application. He received the $1,200 scholarship and has since completed his general aviation pilot's license. He is currently employed at the Watsonville Airport and with further pilot training is looking forward to a career in aviation as a commercial pilot.
More Success Stories