Earlier this fall, CONNECT2Careers partnered with the County of San Diego to establish the Live Well County Internship Pilot Program. Through the pilot, which was fully funded by the County, 39 young adults ages 18–24 completed seven-week paid internships at more than 30 County offices from El Cajon to Oceanside to Chula Vista. The 15-hour-per-week internship program included assignments in:
- Agriculture, Weights & Measures
- Air Pollution Control
- Assessor, Recorder, County Clerk
- Auditor & Controller
- County Library
- Department of Child Support Services
- Department of Animal Services
- Department of Environmental Health
- Department of General Services
- Department of Human Resources
- Department of Parks & Recreation
- Fire Authority
- Health and Human Services Agency
- Office of Emergency Services
- Planning & Development
- Probation Department
- Public Defender
- Registrar of Voters
On November 18, the interns met at the San Diego County Administration Building for the pilot program’s capstone event. Mike Duffet, County of San Diego Property Manager, led the group on a tour of the facility, giving them a deeper dive into how the County operates and all the job opportunities available within the system.
After lunch, Children’s Initiative CEO Sandy McBrayer led a session where each intern shared where they worked and what they did during their internship. Some highlights included one young woman who was tasked with restraining animals so they could receive medical treatment — perfect for an aspiring veterinarian like herself, one who was honored to intern at the Registrar of Voters during the election, and a young man who assisted the Department of Environmental Health in grading local restaurants.
County Supervisor Ron Roberts addressed the group and shared some words of wisdom his father passed on to him, encouraging the group to continue along this path they’ve began so successfully. “Do a little bit more than people expect and you’ll be surprised what happens,” he said.
SDWP CEO Peter Callstrom thanked the group for being a part of the inagural cohort, also mentioning his first job working soy bean fields in Iowa wasn’t nearly as cool as the experiences he heard them share earlier.
County Chief Administrative Officer Helen Robbins-Meyer mentioned three goals the County had going into this pilot: expose young people to a professional atmosphere, ensure they are successful and gain something to show on a college application or résumé, and get them thinking about the County as a potential employer. Based on the overwhelmingly positive feedback she received from department managers and interns, all goals have been met.
“The best part of the program has been meeting the enthusiastic interns and learning about their interests,” said one County department employer. “Our intern seems genuinely grateful for the opportunity to learn new skills and she appreciates being given meaningful work that challenges her. We are hoping she’ll apply for a Student Worker position.”
Based on the pilot’s success, C2C and the County of San Diego are committed to expanding the program in the coming year. For more information about C2C, visit C2CSD.org.