San Rafael, CA – With a strong motivation to fostering equity and fair opportunity, the County of Marin’s Career Explorer Youth Program is embarking on its fourth year of teaching vocational skills and offering work experience for young people between ages 16 and 22.
Mentor Dan Daniels (left) listens to Benjamin Magana during the Career Explorers graduation ceremony last year.
Recruitment is underway through May 31 for an eight-week summer paid internship opportunity with various departments at the County of Marin. The application is online
The Marin County Probation Department collaborates with the County’s Department of Human Resources and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to offer the program. Internships are available in those three departments plus the Fire Department, the Marin County Free Library, the County Counsel’s Office, the Public Defender’s Office, the District Attorney’s Office, the Community Development Agency, the County Administrator’s Office, Marin County Parks, the Department of Public Works, and the Board of Supervisors’ Office.
“We’re really proud of this program,” said Luis Luciano, Employment Development Counselor with the Probation Department. “Last year we received more than 120 applications. It’s a competitive system, so these young people can learn a lot just by going through the application process. Those selected for internships will get an amazing chance to see what it’s like in the workforce and possibly steer them toward a certain career.”
One of the most valuable facets of the program is introductory employment training such as resume writing, interview preparation, public speaking, and best practices for completing job applications. The young people learn about cultural competency, bias, generational differences in the workplace, conflict resolution, and financial literacy. Luciano said four past interns have continued contributing for the County in part-time paid capacities.
Interns generally work weekdays between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m., excluding holidays, and start with an orientation period. All participants receive $100 per week during the two-week orientation. Host departments then welcome selected interns and get them involved with projects that work well with their existing interests and skills. The interns are paid between $13.35 and $14.44 per hour.
A key objective of the program is to provide opportunities to youths who reside in communities and/or circumstances that traditionally present barriers to employment. That may include personal experiences with the juvenile justice system, family members with experience in either the juvenile or adult justice systems, or residence in neighborhoods often impacted by crime.
The program was borne from the County’s 5 Year Business Plan, which includes the focus areas of “diversity and inclusion” and “growth and development.” The Career Explorer program creates a diverse, skilled, and local candidate pool for employment opportunities in a manner that promotes growth and development. Those who complete the internships are recognized in a graduation ceremony in the Board of Supervisors’ chamber at the Marin County Civic Center.
The Probation Department uses funds from a state grant to cover the costs of stipends, work uniforms, food, transportation and supervision for the interns. Departments that employ the interns also contribute to the cost of the program.
To learn more about the program or to obtain a printed application, contact Development Counselor Luis Luciano.