Services for Youth – Everyone Starts Somewhere

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Summer is a time when many young Californians look for their first job–an important step in building skills and experiences for the future. Many youth don’t know how to begin the job hunt and have limited education and experience. A summer job also offers a chance for young people to get their first exposure to the workplace and build financial skills that they can build on throughout their lives.

The EDD, in partnership with the America’s Job Centers of CaliforniaSM (AJCC) can help California’s youth prepare for success in the classroom and entry into the workforce.  Youth can receive work-readiness and life skills that will help them achieve their career goals.

5 Tips to Get Hired

A graphic representation of the five tips.
  1. Build a Strong Résumé.
    Use the Résumé Builder feature in CalJOBSSM to build your résumé online. You can create multiple résumés tailored to specific jobs.
  2. Develop Your People Skills.
    Learn your top strengths and get in-person interview practice! Find your local AJCC with the Office Locator.
  3. Gain the Experience That Fits Your Career Goals.
    Visit your local AJCC to learn about apprenticeships, internships, and vocational training available in your area.
  4. Build Your IRL Network.
    Attend local job fairs, workshops, and events to grow your network.
  5. Get Started Today!
    Bookmark this page as your employment resource.

Youth in the Workforce

Did you know?

  • 2.3 million of the state’s 19.5 million workers are between the ages of 16 and 24. 
  • The unemployment rate for younger workers dropped 3.6 percent from February 2016 to February 2019.
  • Among the jobs held by the state’s younger workers, one out of every five workers are employed in the Accommodation and Food Services industry sector. The other top industries include Retail Trade, Health Care and Social Assistance, Educational Services, and Professional and Technical Services.

Learn how youth are successfully finding jobs with the help of the EDD and the AJCC network:

Education and Training Programs

If you are between the ages of 14-24 years old and meet certain eligibility requirements, you may qualify for the following services, available through your local America’s Job Center of CaliforniaSM:

Three young people sitting at a table at a job fair.

At a recent EDD Summer Youth Fair in Santa Ana, specialists with EDD’s Youth Employment Opportunity Program (YEOP) were ready to recruit, support, and connect other youth to jobs.

  • Tutoring, study skills training, and instruction leading to completion of secondary school
  • Alternative school services
  • Mentoring
  • Paid and unpaid work experience (such as internships, apprenticeships, and job shadowing)
  • Occupational skills training
  • Leadership development
  • Supportive services
  • Guidance counseling
  • Follow-up services

Youth Employment Opportunity Program (YEOP)

The Youth Employment Opportunity Program (YEOP) provides special services to at-risk youth between the ages of 15-25 to achieve their educational and vocational goals. Peer advisors with similar experiences will work with at-risk youth as mentors and career coaches. They can provide referrals to supportive services, workshops, employment preparation, and other training and community outreach efforts.

Career and College Readiness

Students and Career Advisors
Start exploring career options - whether you are in high school, have graduated, have a vocational certificate, or have a two-year or four-year college degree.

California Career Zone
A career exploration and planning system designed especially for students.

California Department of Education
Supports local educational agencies, grades 9-12, to improve student achievement and transition to postsecondary education and careers.

GED Testing Service
The official site for the General Educational Development (GED) test.

Bureau of Labor Statistics
The nation’s premier source for career information. It features hundreds of occupations and describes what they do, the work environment, how to get into that occupation, the pay, and more. Each profile also includes employment projections for the 2010–20 decade.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid
Get Help Filling Out the FAFSA® form. Browse common questions and learn how to fill out the FAFSA form.

Employment and Work Experience

California’s online labor exchange system for linking employers and job seekers.

Youth Rules!
Under the law, teenagers have certain labor restrictions when entering the workforce: types of jobs, hours worked, and other issues. The site also provides tips to prevent workplace injuries and other useful information regarding federal and state labor laws.

Job Corps
Job Corps is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive residential education and job training program for at-risk youth, ages 16-24 providing over a million disadvantaged young people with academic, vocational, and social skills training.

The AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) is a full-time residential program for men and women, ages 18-24, that strengthens communities while developing leaders through direct, team-based national and community service.

Candidates for apprenticeship programs must be at least 16 years of age (18 for hazardous occupations). Programs last between one and six years. At the end of the instruction period, apprentices receive an Apprenticeship Completion Certificate which is a recognized credential for the selected occupation.