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First ‘Jobs to Grow’ Cohort Graduates

Congratulations to the 23 childcare providers and 17 food entrepreneurs who recently graduated from our ‘Jobs to Grow’ program. ‘Jobs to Grow’ is a collaborative effort with our Si Se Puede Collective partners focused on helping our community recover from the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 3-year project is part of a national economic Mobility LABs effort funded by the Robin Hood and Tipping Point Foundations. GFS is working with unlicensed childcare providers to increase their knowledge and to connect them with tools and resources that will help them start their businesses. We are providing training in childcare best practices, business development, leadership, advocacy, and digital literacy/computer skills. In addition to building their skills and confidence, the program gives participants the opportunity to create a childcare provider community. We are thrilled that several Jobs to Grow participants had the confidence to speak about childcare issues at City Council and County Board of Supervisors meetings. Veggielution is co-leading the program and providing training and support to food entrepreneurs.

To continue to support our childcare graduates, we have mapped out several “next step” pathways, including securing a home childcare provider license, setting up a Friends, Family, Neighbor (FFN) home childcare business, continuing their childcare education, and/or joining the childcare workforce. In addition to providing revenue opportunities for these childcare providers, the program will also help address a critical need for accessible childcare in East San Jose.

What graduates are saying:

“I never saw myself as a businesswoman. Now that I have completed the program, I do see myself as one. I am so proud of myself.” – Yolanda Valadez

“What an amazing program and team we have created. I feel so empowered and ready to begin my business and continue to be a voice for our community. It was amazing seeing the impact our voices had at the Board of Supervisors meetings.”  – Imelda Bueno

We are so proud of our graduates’ accomplishments, and we look forward to seeing how they continue to grow.