Julius was a dishwasher at a local restaurant. Due to the pandemic and the Governor’s orders to shut down in-person dining, Julius was reduced to two hours of work a week. With bills still coming in, such as phone and car insurance, and drastically reduced income, Julius needed a new source of income. Many of the typical areas that youth find employment were significantly impacted by the pandemic executive order closures making Julius’ search difficult.

Employment Services of Weld County’s Youth Program team saw the employment need, not only for Julius but for the many local young adults in the same boat. Utilizing the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding, the Weld CARES 4 Youth Workers program came to fruition. The program enrolled young adults impacted by COVID-19 into paid work experience placements.

An individualized assessment was administered to determine where Julius’ interests lay. His case manager evaluated the results and discovered that Julius had a great interest in the automotive industry. His case manager worked with a local automotive dealership to connect the two, ultimately resulting in an interview and offer to complete a work experience. After the 120-day program period ended, the dealership offered Julius a permanent position as they could not see him leaving their team! Julius was able to increase his income during the pandemic and earned himself permanent employment in an industry he desires to turn into a career.