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Orange County Youth Center WIOA Program

Orange County Youth Center WIOA
441 E. Whittier Blvd. 
La Habra, CA  90631
Tel: (562) 383-4227 
Fax: (562) 383-4488
John Muir Staff

<div>John Muir Staff</div> icon
John Muir Staff

Laura Veloz 
Lead Teacher
The Orange County Youth Center (OCYC) began approximately 42 years ago, when the City of La Habra began to operate workforce development programs for youth and adults under the Manpower Development and Training Act , a United States federal law enacted in 1962 to train workers and provide them with employment.  Workforce Development laws may have changed throughout the 42 years, but the City of La Habra has remained constant in the delivery of employment and training programs.  Beginning in 2004, the City of La Habra began exclusively providing services to at-risk youth, ages 17-24, from funding under the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA),  through a grant administered by the Orange County Workforce investment Board (OCWIB).  In 2012, John Muir Charter School joined the OCYC as an onsite partner providing an accredited high school diploma completion program to youth ages 16-25.

The Orange County Youth Center (OCYC) offers young people the opportunity to develop career interests, receive academic support, and gain valuable work experience in order to achieve their career/educational goals. Our services are available to eligible youth, ages 17-24, residing in La Habra, Brea, Fullerton, Yorba Linda, Placentia, Buena Park, or La Palma.
At the OCYC, participants can:
Receive tutoring assistance and academic support
Receive counseling and/or mentoring
Learn how to design a resume
Learn interviewing skills
Explore career paths
Conduct a job search
Gain work experience
Gain employment
Earn a high school diploma
OCYC Staff

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Al Rodriguez
Al Rodriguez began his involvement with workforce development programs in the spring of 1990.  As a fresh college graduate from Azusa Pacific University, Mr. Rodriguez got his first “real” job as a temporary Summer Youth Case Manager for the City of La Habra’s Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) youth program.  What started as temporary soon became permanent, and Mr. Rodriguez progressively moved from case manager to supervisor in the years that followed.  In 2001, Mr. Rodriguez left the City of La Habra when he accepted the position of General Manager with Jobs for California Graduates (JCG).   In the role of General Manager for their drop-out prevention program, Mr. Rodriguez managed sites in Santa Ana, Santa Monica and San Diego.  During his time at JCG, he was instrumental in expanding its programs to include additional sites in the Los Angeles Unified School District, Orange Unified School District, as well as developing workforce programs in Solano County, Merced County, Los Angeles County, and San Diego County.  Four years later, Mr. Rodriguez received a call inviting him to come back to the City of La Habra and cultivate a transitioning WIA youth program.  The offer to return “home” was too good to pass up.  Since 2005, Mr. Rodriguez has been the director for the City’s Employment and Training division, where he has been able to extensively increase services beyond workforce development programs.  When not developing programs, Mr. Rodriguez enjoys spending time with his wife, building Star Wars Lego sets with his son, and going to hockey games.

Mark Ventura
Mark Ventura is currently working towards his bachelor’s degree in Human Services at California State University, Fullerton.  He began his career at the Orange County Youth Center as an intern but loved it so much, he never left.  Mr. Ventura states, “Working with this population brings me great joy and satisfaction. I aim to motivate each client to achieve their goals regardless of how difficult the road may be.”  During his free time, Mr. Ventura enjoys spending time with friends and family, going on weekend adventures, and watching television series on Netflix.
Steve Lee
Jr. Case Manager
Steve Lee is the Jr. Case Manager for the Orange County Youth Center.  He attended Cal State Fullerton and graduated with his bachelor’s degree in Human Services in May of 2015. Mr. Lee is at the Youth Center because he wants to encourage youth to pursue college, build optimism upon future career paths, and also be a positive role model for the students. In his free time, he likes to play basketball, volleyball, and work on cars.
Melissa Bustamante
Melissa Bustamante received her bachelor’s degree from Azusa Pacific University majoring in Human Development. She then received her master’s degree from Pepperdine University; majoring in Education with an emphasis in Educational Psychology.  Ms. Bustamante is here at the Orange County Youth Center to support youth with their aspirations and educational goals. During her spare time, she enjoys watching TED Talks and reading motivational books.
Jenae Partida
Intermediate Clerk
Jenae Partida is the Orange County Youth Center’s Intermediate Clerk and has been employed with the YC for 11 years. Jenae was an at risk youth herself and enrolled in the WIA program after she completed high school. Jenae understands the barriers and challenges our youth face and has a passion to give our youth “another chance” and no matter the choices they made in their past there is great hope for their future. In her spare time Jenae enjoys watching movies and spending time with her husband and two children.
Earning diplomas with hard work and a little help

Earning diplomas with hard work and a little help iconEarning diplomas with hard work and a little helptitle

Orange County Youth Center turns teens around in La Habra

Orange County Youth Center turns teens around in La Habra iconOrange County Youth Center turns teens around in La Habratitle