(a) It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this article to support the expansion
of the Jobs for California Graduates pilot project in Merced into a regional system
of local programs based on the Jobs for America's Graduates model. The Jobs for California Graduates nonprofit, public-private partnership will create
a network of local programs to help California's at-risk youth complete their secondary
education and acquire the basic skills necessary to successfully transition into the
workforce or enroll in postsecondary education.
(b) The director of the Employment Development Department, from funds appropriated
for this purpose to the Jobs for California Graduates Program, may make grants to
applicants for the purpose of carrying out programs as authorized by this article. The grants shall be used to support new and existing Jobs for California Graduates
Programs in the central valley region in one or more of the following counties: Sacramento,
San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Fresno, Madera, and Kern. The director shall develop criteria for ranking grant applications, and performance
standards and auditing procedures for evaluating the effectiveness of the grants. The director may contract with a qualified nonprofit corporation designated by the
national organization, Jobs for America's Graduates, to provide technical assistance
to Jobs for California Graduates local programs.
(c) The regional system of Jobs for California Graduates local programs shall be designed
to accomplish all of the following goals:
(1) To decrease absenteeism rates for at-risk youth.
(2) To improve the performance of at-risk youth in school and in the workplace.
(3) To improve secondary education completion rates.
(4) To improve employability skills of at-risk youth.
(5) To improve employment placement rates for at-risk youth.
(6) To improve enrollment rates of at-risk youth in postsecondary education and training.
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