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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 23, 2022

Contact: Shaleeka Powell, shaleeka.powell@californiavolunteers.ca.gov, 916-584-1705

California Chief Service Officer, Marin County Fire Officials
Highlight Youth Workforce Investment in Marin County

$2.7 million #CaliforniansForAll Youth Jobs Corps investment in Marin’s FIRE Foundry program to diversify the firefighting response workforce


MARIN COUNTY, Calif. – Today, California Chief Service Officer Josh Fryday and Marin County officials highlighted a $2.7 million investment to recruit young leaders for the #CaliforniansForAll Youth Jobs Corps program in Marin County.

The innovative new partnership provides #CaliforniansForAll Youth Jobs Corps funding for Marin County Fire Foundry to recruit, train, and hire local youth for the Fire Innovation, Recruitment & Education (FIRE) Foundry program. The FIRE Foundry program is a collaboration between Marin fire agencies, Conservation Corps North Bay, the Marin Wildfire Prevention Authority, the Marin County Office of Equity, the University of California at Berkeley, Stanford University, and College of Marin.

“The #CaliforniansForAll Youth Jobs Corps is a win for our young people, Marin County, and the State of California,” said California Chief Service Officer Josh Fryday. “This impressive group of young people are also joining a larger team of tens of thousands of California service members participating in California Volunteers programs.”

The objective of the FIRE Foundry program is to use emerging fire science technology to provide job training and skills development for local underserved, underrepresented, and underfunded communities. The program provides innovative, project-based learning opportunities for youth to gain skills-based certificates and empower them as they explore pathways to becoming full-time firefighters or a different career.

Marin’s FIRE Foundry program was launched in October 2021, with job training underway by January 2022. The current cohort will run through the end of the year. Marin County Fire is using an ‘earn and learn’ approach as recruits earn a wage and are supported with wrap-around services and mentorship to ensure their retention.

Should firefighting become the goal, opportunities will open for the cohort graduates – even locally. Mark Brown, the Executive Officer for the Marin Wildfire Protection Agency, has said he is eager to put the cohort participants to work upon completion of the program.

“This is already having a great impact as we encourage and inspire these young people to pursue firefighting,” said Marin County Fire Chief Jason Weber. “We’re getting clear indications that many of them will adopt this as a career path, and we’re excited about that. The program is helping us ensure a workplace and culture that emphasizes equity and inclusion.”

The #CaliforniansForAll Youth Jobs Corps is a partnership between the State of California and local government to help underserved youth find employment. Through the program, young people in cities across California will gain critical job skills while making a positive, lasting impact in their communities.

Included in the California 2021- 2022 budget, the #CaliforniansForAll Youth Jobs Corps program provides $150 million for youth workforce development in the 13 largest cities in California and $35 million for counties and other cities around the state.

“The #CaliforniansForAll Youth Job Corps Program is a major investment in our youth,” said Assemblymember Marc Levine. “This opportunity will give underserved youth valuable job experience and life skills while making positive impacts in their community.  It may even inspire a new generation of public servants and leaders in the North Bay.”

Recruitment is open for people aged 16-30 who are interested in service opportunities in the areas of climate action, food insecurity, education, and disaster management. Learn more about the program at CAYouthJobscorps.com.

Press conference recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfWquZBIkJY


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Led by California Chief Service Officer Josh Fryday, California Volunteers, Office of the Governor empowers Californians to take action to improve their communities. #CaliforniansForAll is a California Volunteers service initiative launched in response to COVID-19 to establish a volunteer corps to support the state’s response to emergencies and disasters.