Since 2011, Soulciety has been providing comprehensive employment services to low-income and system-involved youth in Southern Alameda County through its Youth Employment Program (YEP). The program provides employment and educational opportunities and support to high-risk youth by providing professional development, life skills training, job placement, and comprehensive support services. YEP helps youth to successfully receive and retain jobs, but also helps them to develop the skills needed to become successful in their future careers. Youth are given meaningful jobs that help them to grow personally and to improve their community. They learn problem-solving, confidence, conflict resolution, positive decision-making, and relationship building. They are paid for the work that they accomplish, but more importantly, they learn valuable professional and personal skills that help them throughout their life. Soulciety’s YEP is one of the only employment programs serving youth in Hayward, San Leandro, and San Lorenzo.
Since the inception of the program, Soulciety has continued to have one of the highest workforce development success rates in Alameda County. Soulciety’s YEP has been successful, in part, because its case managers are relentless in supporting youth to overcome their personal challenges in order to achieve their employment and educational benchmarks. Soulciety also benefits from being co-located in a county-funded youth facility, the REACH Ashland Youth Center, that houses numerous other service-providers. Through collaboration and by leveraging each other’s expertise, Soulciety is able to provide comprehensive services that meet the holistic needs of young people. Lastly, Soulciety’s co-executive directors and management team founded the organization and have built it from the ground up, while also successfully developing their own businesses. They are experienced and knowledgeable in how purpose and drive can lead to self-sufficiency and fulfillment.