Merced Youth Jobs is an innovative program designed to help young people in Merced connect to a part-time job, learn about the workforce, and make lasting connections. The program was developed through a series of design sessions led by local youth, facilitated by the Merced County Department of Workforce Investment (DWI). Over several weeks, these designers developed all areas of the program considering the needs of Merced’s most disadvantaged residents.
Funding for the program was made possible through the advocacy of local youth organizations and community members who sought to direct American Rescue Plan Act funds to resources for Merced youth. More than $1,000,000 was dedicated by City Council for a two-year employment program to be administered by DWI.
The program launched in August 2022 and will continue to develop and serve youth through 2024.