PRIDE Industries Expands Foster Youth Program Support

Collaborative program is designed to improve futures of foster youth.

Roseville, Ca. Apr 6, 2009 - PRIDE Industries is proud to announce the expansion of its foster youth services program, designed to address the critical failure rates for emancipated youth. The expansion adds two additional staff to the development and vocational training program.

In our region alone, hundreds of foster youth “age out” of the foster care system annually. Teenagers leave the foster care system alone and without a support system. Studies show that emancipated foster youth are at much higher risk of homelessness, unemployment, academic failure, incarceration, teen pregnancies and a host of other problems. According to a 2002 California Department of Social Services study, 65 percent of foster care youths leave the system without a place to live. A 2003 release issued by the Office of the Governor states that within 2-4 years of emancipation, 40 percent of youths are on public assistance or incarcerated.

In a collaborative partnership between the Placer County Office of Education (Foster Services Youth Division), the CA Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) and PRIDE Industries, the Foster Youth Employment Program addresses the critical needs of emancipated foster youth. Providing assessments, job-specific preparation, resume development and interviewing techniques, paid work experience and placement along with life-skills coaching, PRIDE and its partners provide a platform of support that enables young adults to transition successfully to adulthood.

“With this comprehensive program we can offer the individual a much better chance for success,” said Vic Wursten, VP PRIDE Industries. “What is equally important is that each successful transition helps to break the generational cycle of broken homes resulting in the need for foster care.”

In fiscal year 2008/2009, 48 foster youths ages 16-19 have been served by the program with nearly 50 percent already placed in employment. With each success, both the individual and the public benefit as the youths become self-sufficient contributing members of the community instead of continued end-users of taxpayer dollars.

About PRIDE Industries:

PRIDE Industries is a nonprofit organization providing a variety of business solutions to meet the manufacturing and service needs of companies nationwide. PRIDE is dedicated to creating jobs for people with disabilities and employs more than 4,100 individuals across 11 states and in the nation's capitol, including more than 2,700 people with disabilities.