FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Mayor Dyer introduced the first 23 interns hired through the One Fresno Youth Jobs Corps program on Wednesday.

Dyer said the goal of the program is to invest in young adults 16-30 years old who can have a tough time finding a job.

“…People who have been touched by the criminal justice system at one point in their life, people who have been homeless, people who have timed out of the foster care system, people who face addiction…” he said.

One of the interns, Jose Tingero, migrated from Mexico when he was 12 years old and says he never imagined he would be able to work for the city.

“Before this, I was doing construction. Now my goal is to become a full-time city employee,” he said.

The city applied for the state grant to fund this program in December of 2020 and was awarded $7.4 million in January 2021. Susan Chudy is one of the city employees who has spent the last year and a half organizing this program, which includes career coaching.

“This is where they are learning what it takes at an interview; what we’re going to talk about, what those questions might be… How to show up on time, how to know what to wear…” she said.

Intern Keata Brown said she believes the opportunity will allow her to create the life she wants for herself and her son.

“It’s going to create the stability for me to take care of my son, give us the stability to move forward in life…maybe I’ll move up in a different rank or department,” she said.

There are 47 additional people who have job offers and are going through the final stages of the hiring process. The interns make $17-$19/hour.