Imperial Valley Regional Occupational Program's Project PACE wrapped up its first year of existence Thursday night with an award ceremony and dinner for participants and their families.
PACE, which stands for Providing Access to Careers and Education, offered work experience and training for 110 Imperial County young people between ages 14 and 21. Funded by a grant from the State Work Enforcement Act, Project PACE placed participants at work sites within each person's chosen career field.
The program doesn't provide just on-the-job skills.
"It gives them a sense of responsibility," said IVROP Superintendent Mary Camacho.
Participants also learn leadership skills and develop their self-esteem, she said.
"They see how the skills they learn at school relate to their jobs," Camacho said.
El Centro resident Tamara Shelton, 19, was placed at Imperial Valley Medical Imaging Services Inc. through Project PACE. Her paid job experience there as an office assistant provides her with valuable skills.