San Bernardino CA Feb 12 2018
Graduates of the certified security guard class at San Bernardino’s Workforce Development
Program did not bother to don caps and gowns Monday for their ceremonial awards.
They were looking ahead to the future.
The 37 students who earned their certified Security Guard Cards had a 100 percent graduation rate and a 100 percent job placement rate.
Not bad for beginners.
“It was emotional knowing how hard these people struggled to earn their certificates – how much it meant to them,” said Terrance Stone, founder and executive director of the nonprofit Young Visionaries, part of a partnership that enables young adults to obtain the licenses and other skills.
The “young” adults who attended this four-week class ranged in age from 18 to 81, “staying the course” for the classes that ran Monday through Friday for five hours each day.
“We have a lot of disenfranchised, disconnected people in the community, who don’t understand how to get back into the workforce,” Terrance said. “Workforce development is one of the solutions to the crime problem in our area.”
The effort is a collaboration of the Young Visionaries workforce development team, the Community Action Partnership, Youth Action Project, Wells Fargo and the San Bernardino Community College District.
Community Action Partnership CEO Patricia Nickols-Butler is passionate about the program. She speaks proudly of the students who follow through, attending every class, but sometimes come upon an obstacle.
In some areas, students have needed assistance with bus passes, gas and uniforms. One young man was so distraught when he couldn’t afford the background check and guard card that cost $150, the partnership helped him cover the expenses.
“We can assist students who are trying to fulfill their goal and assist them by empowering them to have access to available resources when they come upon a barrier,” Patricia said.
Some of the men and women were even homeless. The certificate was their ticket off the streets.
In cases of homelessness, those newly employed people are receiving services from Community Action Partnership.
Terrance said that most of the people he encounters in the streets say they just want a job – if they had a job, they wouldn’t be in the streets.
In addition to security guard positions, the program provides an overview of the logistics industry to help those seeking work in the distribution center/logistics industry.
Thanks to their partnership with CAPs, Young Visionaries students and students from two other nonprofits can train in the 32,000-square-foot facility – the CAPs Food Bank.
The new security guards have jobs throughout the area at warehouses, stores, office buildings and the upcoming Coachella Music Festival.
The security guard class was the third of the workforce development sessions to graduate; the next class and starting date are still to be determined.
Terrance has been turning young lives around every day since 2001, when he founded Young Visionaries Youth Leadership Academy. He figures he’s helped more than 25,000 people since then.
The newly certified security guards are part of the solution.