By TR Robertson
The annual monthly meeting of the Government Affairs Committee began with presentations highlighting the importance of education, the development of social skills, the movement to the job market and two organizations devoted to make sure these goals are reached by as many young people as possible.
Speaking first was Laura Kohn, from the San Diego Workforce Partnership and Director of the Center for Local Income Mobility, who presented a power point presentation about The Business Case for Early Childhood Education. Ms Kohn pointed out that early childhood education gives young people and the work force a greater return on education and success. She stated the development of the brain and social skills at early ages, prior to the 3rd grade, will provide many important skills that will last into adulthood and help in the prevention of negative social issues. Providing proper childcare is critical for the female labor force and lack of this is one reason for a declining reduction in the female labor force. Brain formation for children ages birth to 5 is tremendous as 90% of a child’s brain develops by age 5. She pointed out that 50% of low income children aren’t fully ready for kindergarten when they enter and children who are kindergarten ready have an 82% chance of mastering basic skills by age 11. This percentage drops to only 42% if children are not kindergarten ready. One of the main problems in providing early childhood education is the State of California’s only spends 2% of the state budget for education birth to age 5. She also pointed out that there are many cities in the United States whose businesses have seen the importance of early education programs for their children and are assisting in providing early childhood education programs beyond what the state provides.
Speaking next was Karmin Noar, from the Connect 2 Careers program. This program works with young people ages 16-24 to help providing assistance with job internships, job coaching, work readiness training, a variety of workshops and Job Fairs. In San Diego County alone there are 444,132 16-24 year olds and of this group 43,210 are considered Opportunity Youth, young people who are neither in school nor employed. Connect 2 Careers wants to cut this rate of disconnected young people in half by 2020. There are services available for young people if they know where to turn. Currently 1,184 services delivered through 826 unique locations in San Diego County provide support for Opportunity Youth. Connect 2 Careers helps with job postings, job fairs, subsidized internships and much more. Recently they assisted with a hiring event sponsored by Starbucks. Other similar events have been hosted by Sea World, Cox Cable, the YMCA and many more groups. The San Diego based group will soon be adding a North County extension in an office space provided by the Vista Unified School District. For more information go to www.workforce.org.
Monthly reports from representatives in attendance included”
- Lenna Wright, from Congressman Issa’s Office, reported on an upcoming pancake breakfast to be held at the Veterans VANL; also the Congressman is co-sponsoring a bill dealing with the sewage spills in the Tijuana River as well as dealing with the closure of San Onofre and the disposal of nuclear waste.
- Matthew Phy, from Senator Bate’s Office, stated the Senate will return to work soon. Many bills are on the Governor’s desk – one is AB805 which would change the governing structure of SANDAG.
- Candyce Yee, from Supervisor Horn’s Office, reported on the upcoming Veteran’s Conference set for October 13 at SDSU and a new library opening in Borrego Springs.
- Tony Winney, from the City of Vista, reported on the Sheriff’s Department visiting homeless encampments encouraging vaccinations for Hepatitis A; the Vista Business Walk visited over 100 businesses last week; electric charging stations will be installed soon in the new parking lots downtown; City Council will be dealing with medical marijuana retailer businesses; the Breakfast Mug Café is now open; Lighting and closing times for the new skate parks were also discussed. A short update on new eateries soon to open in Vista were discussed – more info on this in another article.
Business Mixer – Oct. 11 @ RBV
Fall Fun Festival – Oct 14 @ Alta Vista Gardens
Open House Fire Station 5 – Oct 14
Lunch Mob – Oct 25 @ Sizzler
Beer Committee – Oct 25 @ Barrel Harbor
Dia de los Muertos – Oct 28 – Rancho Guajome Adobe
Government Affair Committee Meeting – Vista Chamber of Commerce – Nov. 2