Ready, Set, Connect!

Youth from San Francisco and Oakland are experiencing high unemployment numbers and dwindling access to education services. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for black youth between 16 and 19 years old in the United States increased from 34.7% to 40.5% between February and March 2012. Furthermore, the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that unemployment for Latino youth between 16 and 19 years old increased from 27.5% to 30.5% during the same time period compared to the unemployment rates for white youths between 16 and 19 years old, which increased from 21.3% to 22.5%. These statistics illustrate how many youth of color in California are in dire need of employment.


Community Technology Network and the Oakland Public Library have partnered to create the Ready, Set, Connect! (RSC) program which equips  high school and college students from the most disadvantaged neighborhoods in Oakland and Alameda county with job and leadership skills essential for employment in today's job market. Youth spend four hours a week learning social media, marketing, web, and graphic design skills in exchange for a stipend or service learning credit.

CTN will begin the next session of the Ready, Set, Connect! program in October 2015 in partnership with the Oakland Public Library. Learn more here.


  • READY youth between 16 and 24 years old, with the professional skills necessary for employment in today's technology-focused careers like web design, online marketing, and social media.
  • SET youth up with dynamic work experience where they can practice their newly acquired job skills while assisting patrons in computer labs and leading community outreach.
  • CONNECT youth with mentors from the top technology companies and tours of corporate offices, along with a web portfolio, resume, and LinkedIn profile.


Youth are "digital natives" but lack the structure, opportunity, and applied knowledge to convert their inherent knowledge into skills that could be listed on a resume and better their community. Ready, Set, Connect! will refine and hone those skills by giving young people a experiential learning project and environment to develop twenty-first-century job skills while impacting disconnected populations.

RSC capitalizes on youth's inherent ability to use technology tools and pairs them with historically disconnected populations. Matching those who have tech skills with those who do not creates a social conscience and a mutually beneficial system that helps low-income youth follow their professional aspirations while equipping their community with the skills to fully participate in a digital society.

Corporate mentors increase youth's professional networks and act as a conduit to internships and job opportunities. The impact from these aspects alone can transform a young person's ability to find work within their community and can help end the cycle of poverty and violence that plagues them and prevents them from achieving greatness.

The Oakland Public Library informs, inspires, and delights our diverse community as a resource for information, knowledge, and artistic and literary expression, providing the best in traditional services, new technologies, and innovative programs.

For more information about CTN's Ready, Set, Connect!, please contact  If you are a youth aged 16-24 and would like to apply, please fill out our online application.

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