City of Santa Ana announces expansion of youth employment program with $2 million grant

Posted on June 18, 2024

A young man wearing glasses sits at a table using a laptop computer.

SANTA ANA, Calif. – The City of Santa Ana Community Development Agency is pleased to announce the expansion of the Santa Ana Youth (SAY) Employment Program, which will now provide paid public sector and non-profit work experience to 120 Santa Ana youth ages 16 to 30.

This initiative is made possible through a $2 million grant awarded by California Volunteers, part of the State of California Department of General Services. The Santa Ana City Council on Tuesday, June 18, 2024, unanimously approved implementing the program for Santa Ana residents.

“The City Council firmly believes that providing educational, job training and career opportunities for our youth is essential to Santa Ana’s future,” Mayor Valerie Amezcua said. “Finding a career path will help our young residents become contributing members of society, our future leaders, business owners, and agents of change.”

This grant marks the second award from California Volunteers, following a previous grant of nearly $4.5 million in June 2022. During the first funding period, 400 youth participated in the work experience program, each working an average of 350 hours across various City Hall agencies and local non-profits over two years.

The new #CaliforniansForAll Youth Service Corps (CA4ALL) grant will benefit 120 youth aged 16 to 30, providing them with valuable work experience. The program will be managed by City staff in collaboration with Community-Based Organizations (CBO) including the CEO Leadership Alliance of Orange County, Dreams for Schools, and Working Wardrobes.

Program Highlights:

  • Enrollment begins in September 2024. Click here to apply.
  • Areas of focus include: food insecurity, education, public service, career exploration, and readiness.
  • Participants will have access to AI and STEM technology workshops, preparing them for future career pathways.
  • Comprehensive support: Administrative support, fiscal and programmatic oversight, compliance review, tracking and reporting progress, career counseling, case management, and more.

For questions, please call the Santa Ana Work Center at 714-565-2600 or e-mail

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