The Santa Barbara County Youth Corps will host three celebrations this month to commemorate its one-year anniversary and promote the local organization.

The Youth Corps was designed to provide young adults of Santa Barbara County with employment and educational opportunities.

Candy Avila-Baca, the case manager of the Youth Corps in Santa Barbara, said that the upcoming celebrations will commemorate the accomplishments of both the Youth Corps staff and the youth who utilize the program.

[media-credit name=”PHOTO COURTESY OF CANDY AVILA BACA” align=”alignleft” width=”250″][/media-credit]

The Youth Corps provides options for local youth both in and out of school.

“The corps gave them work experience and helped them get into college so the events are intended to celebrate what the youth have accomplished and what the program has accomplished with them,” Avila-Baca said.

The Workforce Investment Board also aids young adults through their “One-Stop” Shops, which provide a variety of résumé and employment aids at a single location.

“We have computers, two bulletin boards, a fax machine, a copier and staff that can assist with a résumé,” Karina Cabrera, administrative office professional at the One-Stop Shop in Santa Maria, said. “We have job service representatives that may assist with general questions regarding unemployment”

Carolyn Contreras, the director of Family and Youth Services for the Community Action Commission, said the nonprofit began when the county Workforce Investment Board was looking for a new way to provide youth services for individuals who were not currently enrolled in school.

“The intention is to get [youth] to return to school and to learn about different types of trades and jobs such as landscaping, construction and renovation,” Contreras said

According to the Workforce Investment Board Web site, the Youth Corps was created through a $1.1 million start-up fund provided by the Santa Barbara County Supervisors and the WIB.

Jim Mangis, the Youth Corps program coordinator for the WIB, said that the program helps local youth gain employment and learn useful skills.

“The program works to give young people the opportunity to work in teams to learn both the — what I like to call — ‘soft’ job and life skills, and the ‘hard’ work skills that help them form a base of experience to be successful,” Mangis said.

The anniversary celebrations will be held Oct. 6 at the Santa Barbara Youth Corps’ Headquarters in Santa Maria, Oct. 7 at the Youth Corps’ Headquarters in Lompoc and Oct. 14 in the archway of the Santa Barbara Courthouse.