If you follow PPSC’s youth employment program on social media, you might have noticed our usernames and avatars gradually changing over the past week. What once was Youth Link is now CareerPoint (okay, @CareerPointPPSC if you want to be exact) on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. What hasn’t changed yet will be updated soon. It’s out with the old and in with the new!

Why the change? There’s a few different reasons the idea appealed to us. For one, focus groups of this young adult population we serve have told providers like us that they don’t identify with “youth.” We see and respect the hardships our clients have weathered, and we know that they are more than just their age. We also want to make it clear that we’re here to help people find their way to rewarding careers. So we were happy when the opportunity to “rebrand” appeared, by way of a much larger opportunity, which will let us expand services south to Marin County. The short version is that we’re joining the CareerPoint North Bay family, in partnership with Workforce Alliance of the North Bay (WANB). For the long version, since we’re cleaning house, let’s take a Schoolhouse Rock-style break and hum a catchy tune while we shine a light on the myriad moving parts working together to make a difference in the future of a local young person’s life.

In the federal government, workforce development for youth as well as adults is overseen by the U.S. Department of Labor, using funds guaranteed by the 2014 Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). This WIOA money is parceled out to the states, which is where California’s Employment Development Department (EDD) and its 47 county-based local areas come in. In Sonoma County, WIOA translates to Youth Education & Employment Services (YEES), which are provided by five regional agencies, including PPSC in the south county area. After traveling through all those acronyms, the buck stopped here, with Youth Link.

Just across the Sonoma-Marin border, though, it’s a whole other local area. WANB’s CareerPoint North Bay provides services across Marin, Napa, Mendocino, and Lake counties, but needed some help with WIOA youth services in Marin. Poised at the southern tip of Sonoma County, PPSC was the natural choice to bridge that gap — after all, we’re North Bay too! Making things easier on everyone involved, we decided to go with the flow and change our name for both our Sonoma and Marin services. And so, CareerPoint PPSC was born.

Confused? Here’s a colorful chart (catchy tune not included).

Chart of how WIOA funds work

WIOA funds filter from the federal to the local.

And so begins our next big adventure. If you got to the end of this and you’re still into it, you just might be the next CareerPoint PPSC Case Manager. We’re hiring! Send your resume to jobs@petalumapeople.org, and get to the CareerPoint.

– RK