Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Orange Coast and Youth Employment Service merge to expand and enhance employment resources for Orange County youth and the corporate community

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Orange Coast (BGC of Central OC) and Youth Employment Service (YES), a 53-year-old nonprofit organization dedicated to equipping young adults ages 16-24 with the essential skills needed for securing and sustaining meaningful employment, have merged to offer more workforce readiness resources, professional networks and expanded strategies for employers. The merger of the two longstanding nonprofits became official on September 7.

The merger between BGC of Central OC and YES marks a significant milestone in addressing the workforce gap in Orange County, where there is a disparity in the skills and qualifications of the workforce and the requirements of a specific job position. It allows the Club to create two new offerings: YES Workforce Development for young adults looking to enhance their professional soft skills and career opportunities beyond graduation and YES Workforce Solutions for employers seeking a pool of qualified entry-level candidates. With BGC of Central OC’s established track record and robust infrastructure, the new offerings will create opportunities for efficiencies and cost-savings and ensure equitable access to essential skills and training for local youth, while providing Orange County companies with enriched candidates.

“We are continually looking for new ways to provide the youth we serve with educational opportunities and resources that enhance the whole community,” said Robert Santana, CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Orange Coast. “I want to thank the YES board of directors and their partners for entrusting us to provide real-life solutions to the workforce gap between local youth and employers. By creating YES Workforce Development and YES Workforce Solutions, I am confident we will begin to close that gap.”

For youth participants, the workforce development curriculum provides its members with professional development soft skills, including mock interviews, resume building, communication and conflict resolution, time management and organizational practices and negotiation lessons. Last year, YES served 819 clients and reported 289 job placements with local Orange County businesses. The organization hosted 70 employment skills workshops and finance and resume classes and performed over 700 mock interviews. Previous employer partners include Mother’s Market, Sugar ‘n Spice, Great Mex Grill, Starbucks, Mon Amie Bridal and many more.

I am proud to see the evolution of YES,” said Zeshaan Younus, chair of the YES Board of Directors and vice president at Curt Pringle & Associates. “This merger with Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Orange Coast augments YES programming and expands our impact to an unprecedented degree. Through the support of the Club’s executive team, we will be able to reach heights only imagined by those who began the good work at YES over 50 years ago. This merger is a natural step forward with an organization we not only admire, but more importantly, trust. It is a win-win for the youth and employers of Orange County, and I cannot wait to see what’s to come.”

Through the merger process, YES’ six board members have joined the BGC of Central OC board of directors, strengthening the leadership of the organization. The newly appointed board members are Zeshaan Younus, Kaleigh Causey, Alison Salsbury, Sarah Recalde, Jordin Eakin, and Meline Carranza.

BGC of Central OC acknowledges the support of the law firms that helped facilitate the merger process by generously providing their legal services pro bono – Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP led by John Williams and Snell & Wilmer led by James Scheinkman.

To learn more about the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Orange Coast, please visit www.boysandgirlsclub.com.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Orange Coast
Since its founding, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Orange Coast has been a cornerstone of the Costa Mesa, Irvine, Newport Beach, Orange, and Santa Ana communities. The Clubs have provided strategic programming, safe space, and quality mentoring to more than 100,000 youth since the first Club in Costa Mesa opened in 1941. The Club works to build a foundation for members to live meaningful, productive lives by equipping them with the skills they need to graduate high school, pursue higher education, and join the workforce. It has been recognized by the Boys & Girls Clubs of America as one of the most innovative in the nation, particularly with its IMPACT Model. While there are many youth-serving organizations in Orange County, none provide youth with the breadth of academic, fitness, and enrichment activities as Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Orange Coast. The Clubs are very proactive in fostering relationships with similarly-minded nonprofits to serve youth and their families best. All its activities, whether at the Club, a school, or out in the community, are designed to empower youth and build up the protective family and community factors that reduce risks and increase the likelihood of positive outcomes. Its mission is to ensure every child has mentors and champions in life. For more information, visit www.boysandgirlsclub.com.

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