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Taller San Jose (St. Joseph’s Workshop) provides disadvantaged young adults with the life skills and job training needed to live more productive and self-actualized lives. Taller San Jose gives young people, who are unemployed, out of school, in and out of the criminal justice system and/or pregnant or parenting, the chance to start over. The organization demonstrates an unwavering acceptance of others for whom and where they are on their life trajectories and is committed to empowering youth to realize their strengths and positively impact their futures. .
The Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange founded Taller San Jose in 1995 in response to the rise in gang violence, high youth unemployment, low high school graduation rates and rising teen pregnancy rates in Central Orange County. Every year, Taller San Jose serves 350 youth, who are caught in this cycle of poverty and strives to help them achieve and maintain self-sufficiency. In eighteen years Taller San Jose has helped more than 4,500 young people restructure their lives, develop marketable skills and find employment.
Since 1995, Taller San Jose has worked to develop and refine a theory of change that leads to real transformation in the lives of young men and women who are disconnected from educational and workforce opportunities. The agency offers four strategically delivered program components—intensive skills training, case management, employment services, and educational advancement—over a 28-month period. As a result of this investment, Taller San Jose aims to stabilize the lives of its young people and give them the skills and support needed to enter into upwardly-mobile employment and educational pathways so that they can advance towards living-wage employment and self-sufficiency.
Youth can choose from one of four 16-20 week paid training programs that focus on key industry sectors
- Medical Careers Academy
- Office Careers Academy
- Construction and Green Technology Academy
Young people who enroll in Taller San Jose demonstrate that they are ready to change their life trajectories by: completing and submitting an application, participating in an interview, passing a drug test, meeting basic skills (5th – 8th grade math and reading level) requirements and possessing right-to-work documents.
Based on the belief that young people don’t learn how to work by sitting in a classroom, Taller San Jose is a 24-month intensive program that simulates the workforce. Youth are paid a $100 weekly stipend during their 16-20 weeks of skills training and are expected to show up every day, on time and drug free. Each training academy has three focuses: Hard Skill Development—hands-on training in Construction, Healthcare or General Business; Life Skills—case management and ongoing personal development; and Employability—job readiness preparation, job placement and retention.
Since 1995, Taller San Jose has helped more than 4,500 young adults finish their education and develop marketable skills. The average starting wage of graduates is $11.13/hr and 70% of students remain employed one year after graduation.