November 22, 2014 | by Lisa Mattson

Community leaders, students and non-profit workers turned out on October 22 in Santa Rosa, Calif., for the grand opening of the John Jordan Education Center at Community Action Partnership of Sonoma County (CAP Sonoma County), John’s latest philanthropic effort to decrease income inequality in our community.

The event began with speeches by leading officials in community action and economic development, before ribbon cutting ceremony and tours of the facility, where “Voices from the Classroom” students shared their experience.

The John Jordan Education Center (JJEC) is the new home for two vital community programs, Youth Connections and Center for Economic Success (CES), neither of which had dedicated training space. Started in 2012, Youth Connections is a work-readiness preparation, career mentoring and leadership development program for youth ages 16 to 24 who are no longer in school. Created by CAP Sonoma County in July 2012, CES provides a one-stop-shop approach to bundled work services and economic supports, where individuals and families could address all the issues that have prevented them from achieving stability and financial self-sufficiency.

JJEC expects to serve nearly 900 Sonoma County residents in the first year through Micro Business Development classes, financial literacy workshops, coaching sessions, credit counseling, computer classes, free tax preparation services and Youth Connection classes.

John Jordan speaks to the audience

The new education center includes a training room for Micro Business Development and Financial Literacy classes in English and Spanish, as well as meetings and networking events for clients; a computer lab to teach basic computer skills, host QuickBooks classes in English and Spanish and help individuals with tax preparation; and office space for a financial coach to provide credit counseling and financial coaching services. The expanded, dedicated space for Youth Connections will allow the non-profit organization to serve more students at its charter school, give students access to a computer lab for workshops and homework, teach youths business development skills and offer optional entrepreneurial development or skill-building classes.

Learn more about the John Jordan Foundation on its website.