Over the course of April, Kaiser Permanente looked at the impact of economic opportunity on health and wellbeing as part of its “Wellbeing 365: Stress Less & Thrive” initiative in partnership with the city of Santa Monica.
Through the partnership, which launched in September along with the city’s most recent Wellbeing Survey results, Kaiser Permanente and the city produced a series of short videos, in English and in Spanish, that offer tips and advice from many of Kaiser Permanente’s medical professionals on how Santa Monicans can improve wellbeing in the different parts of their lives.
In a video produced for the campaign, Host Naibe Reynoso notes that the city’s Wellbeing Survey found that one-in-five Santa Monicans stress about losing their jobs in the next six months.
The video, however, highlights some of the programs that Santa Monica College offers that help train people in skills necessary to be competitive in the job market.
“We’re getting students thinking about a career pathway, and so these pathways include classes; they include industry providing professionals coming into the classroom; it involves industry again providing mentors and internships and work-based learning opportunities for these students,” said Frank Dawson, SMC’s associate dean of Career Technical Education.
The video also features Lydia Buchman, a career coach with the Jewish Vocational Service West Los Angeles Worksource Center.
“Our workshops work with youth who have no work experience. They have no skills that are needed in the workplace. And they’re, frankly, very scared,” Buchman said. “One of the youth I worked with at the Santa Monica program, his English wasn’t very good, he didn’t have a high school diploma, and he had never worked before.”
Buchman noted that this particular youth, through the program, was able to get an internship and go back to school to get his high school diploma and that he is currently enrolled at SMC.
As noted in the video, there is still growth in the job market on the Westside.
This is also true in the medical industry, noted Georgina Garcia, senior vice president and area manager for Kaiser Permanente.
Kaiser Permanente recently opened new medical facilities in Santa Monica, but there are also plenty of jobs in the hospitality and service industries, including at hotels and restaurants throughout the city.
One of the challenges facing the Westside, especially Santa Monica, is that has a thriving and diverse job market, but housing growth has failed to keep pace with job growth, resulting in increasingly high housing costs.
That has had the impact of making it increasingly harder for people from a broad range of socioeconomic backgrounds to live near the job opportunities in Santa Monica, generally requiring them to commute from farther and farther afield to take advantage of the city’s healthy job market.
Disclosure: Kaiser Permanente contributed to Santa Monica Next’s coverage of wellbeing issues in Santa Monica. Kaiser Permanente does not have editorial control over Next’s coverage of this topic or any other topic.