Why Work Readiness?
According to the 2016 Workforce Development Survey Report (WDSR) produced by the Sonoma County Economic Development Board (EDB) and the Sonoma County Workforce Investment Board, there is a significant “skill gap between the skills employers are looking for and the skills present in the workforce.” Jobs are available, but job applicants lack the skills needed. Employers across all industries also cited a lack of relevant work experience among applicants (61% of employers) and a lack of hard/soft skills (34% of employers) as main causes for hiring difficulties.
The WDSR recommended workforce development with an emphasis on career readiness programs that close the skill gap and increase relevant work experiences. Similarly, the 2014 Cradle to Career Framework for Sonoma County prepared by Sonoma Health Action cited two goals:
• promote and expand opportunities for young adults to develop career-ready skills, and
• promote and expand opportunities for young adults to connect to careers through training and work-based learning. This is what Ready to Work does.
Since 1991, Teen Services Sonoma has worked with Sonoma Valley schools, local businesses, and other youth-serving organizations to provide work-readiness skills and experiences. In 2018 alone, more than 300 youth participated in Ready to Work activities preparing them for successful employment in a career of their choosing. Our programs are specifically designed to engage youth and re-engage disconnected youth with education, employment, and their community.