Young Adult Services

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The Humboldt County Workforce Development Board contracts out youth funds to five regions in Humboldt County to provide services to youth throughout the county, including those in outlying areas that have limited resources and supports. A strength of this approach is that each contractor is embedded in the community it serves and programs are designed to respond to the needs of resident youth

Dream Quest operates in Willow Creek, a remote mountain area in Eastern Humboldt and functions as a youth community center providing multiple services and activities, including a teen center with leadership opportunities, a permaculture garden, a youth-led farmers market, a thrift store for work readiness, and a partnership with the US Forest Service that provides opportunities for summer work experience. Dream Quest’s Youth program has worked with Access Humboldt to provide training video editing. They plan to invest in recording equipment to provide ongoing training in music/video editing classes.  

Smart Workforce Center serves the Eel River Valley and Eureka. Many Eel River Valley businesses are committed to providing work opportunities and mentoring for youth, creating a strong alignment between industry and education/youth programs. Smart helps young people with paid internships and work experience, job search assistance, supportive services, and On-the-Job training opportunities. Young people are also assisted with high school or GED completion, post-secondary education and training, leadership development, career counseling, and financial literacy.

McKinleyville Family Resource Center serves families in the Northern region of Humboldt and offers the WIOA Step Up Program.  Young people are assisted with tutoring and study skills training; paid and unpaid work experience; occupational skills training; one on one resume assistance; financial literacy training; leadership development; supportive services; and referral to local resources. 

The Mattole Restoration Council serves Southern Humboldt and is located at the very rural south end of the county. This region is the most challenging to serve and services focus on assisting youth with education and job readiness.  Mattole Restoration Council provides natural systems restoration work experience, education and outreach programs, projects designed to foster stewardship through education and job training for local youth. With close ties to nearly 15 local businesses and organizations,  broad variety of work experience placements and employment options are available—including solar installation, web design, retail sales, butcher training, radio production, etc.


In addition to the youth programs, the Employment Development Department’s Youth Employment Opportunity Program is located at the job center. This program services drop-in youth clients with job search assistance and partners with youth service providers in the five regions outlined above to make referrals when additional vocational or educational assistance is needed. Transition Age Youth is another partner to the workforce system and provides a supportive program for youth to thrive at home, school, work, and in their community. Transition Age Youth have full access to the job center system for employment and education supports. The Redwood Community Action Agency, a lead operator to the job center, through their Youth Service Bureau, offers youth temporary residential housing, long-term transitional housing, and employment and training opportunities.