SAN DIEGO — Through the pandemic, many people lost their jobs, some were forced to go back to work for the first time in years for a second household income, and others were getting into the workforce for their first time.
With help from the San Diego Workforce Partnership program by UC San Diego Extension, which was launched in 2019, many were able to get their skills up to speed and find work without the financial commitment upfront.
Dwaine Best, 44, was looking for stability in life after being laid off at The La Jolla Playhouse amid the pandemic. From building sets, taking a bus to work, then feeling stuck, he was looking for ways to apply his creative skills. He enrolled in a 12-month online web development program, which involved theater and eventually carved his path toward the tech field.
“I’ve already been doing some web development, I found it fulfilling,” said Best.
The pandemic also impacted 28-year-old Mahi Khalili. “The pandemic hit us and it was almost impossible to get a job at that time,” said Khalili.
Khalili earned a bachelor’s degree in IT Engineering. She was between career changes and coping with the challenges of the pandemic. She decided to look for work even if she had to step out of her field, knowing it was temporary.
“Life moved me, I took a retail job and I really wanted to get back to my field which was IT Engineering,” said Khalili.
Khalili joined a 9-month online Business Intelligence program, and after four months, she landed a job at a local IT company.
In a two-part program, USCD provides the education while San Diego Workforce Partnership ISA provides resources and financial help.
An ISA is an Income Share Agreement, which means you don’t pay for classes until you’re working in the field of study.
Best and Khalili are 2020 graduates of San Diego Workforce. Best is working on multiple projects as a freelance web developer. Khalili is working full-time as a product owner. Both are working from home doing their best with what comes their way.
San Diego Workforce is currently recruiting for Spring which begins at the end of March. You can apply here.