Supervisor Barger Gives $115K to Support Job Training for Young Adults with Special Needs

Check presented during moving Ready to Work! Academy graduation ceremony organized by Carousel Ranch and College of the Canyons

Ready to Work

Los Angeles, Ca ( February 22, 2023) – Yesterday, Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger presented a $115,000 check to Carousel Ranch, a non-profit organization located in Santa Clarita dedicated to improving the lives of children and young adults with special needs.

The presentation took place during Carousel Ranch and College of the Canyons’ Ready to Work! Academy graduation ceremony – the culmination of a training program completed by young adults with special needs. The funds will be used to continue operating the successful Ready to Work! Academy.

“Today’s celebration marks an important milestone not just in the lives of the young people graduating today, but also for all the collaborative partners who made this possible,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger. “I wholeheartedly believe it takes a village to make meaningful change in the lives of youth so that they have opportunities to learn, grow, and reach their full potential. The Ready to Work! Academy takes that mission to the next level and exemplifies the power of partnerships. I am proud to support a program that will undoubtedly continue to make a long lasting difference in young people’s lives.”

The financial support was welcomed by Carousel Ranch leadership.

“The Ready to Work! Academy at College of the Canyons simply would not exist without the support of Supervisor Barger and the funding from the County of Los Angeles in support of its creation, pilot program, and classes thus far,” said Denise Redmond, Carousel Ranch Co-Founder and Executive Director Emeritus. “Her belief in the work that we are doing has meant so very much, enabling the creation of a program that extends post-secondary education to a population that would not otherwise have been possible. As we celebrate the award of this next grant, we look to the year ahead in anticipation of more classes, development of new curriculums and increased opportunities for employment for our graduates. Together, we have created something important.”

The Ready to Work! Academy consists of classroom instruction at College of the Canyons, including weekly work experience onsite at local employers’ locations.  The program teaches students valuable skills that are applicable to their next employer and prepares them to be placed in jobs upon graduation. This is the fourth year the program has been implemented.

“College of the Canyons is proud to have been a part of the Ready to Work!  Academy since its inception,” stated John MilburnCollege of the Canyons Interim Vice President, Workforce and Economic Advancement. “We recognize the importance of providing education, as well as workplace experience, to special needs participants who may not have otherwise been able to do so and have traditionally been under-employed. All of it is made possible by the generous funding from Supervisor Barger, and by the support of the business partners where the work experience occurs, including AMS Fulfillment, Bluemark, Holiday Inn Express, Pet Supplies Plus, and Starbucks.”