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The “Launch” Initiative is a regional vision and broad-based economic development strategy to ‘launch’ families on a trajectory from dependency to prosperity.  This is accomplished by engaging families within a system of mutual accountability that aligns a continuum of mutually-established interventions and support strategies in four distinct stages that requires sustained progress along a defined pathway, or trajectory, to achieve economic independence.

The Launch Initiative is an endeavor led by local businesses participating in the Inland Empire Economic Partners (IEEP) with financial support from the Irvine Family, Morgan Family and Wells Fargo Foundations. Drawing from cutting edge research in the fields of Housing, Economic Mobility, Family Self Sufficiency, and Health promotion, this Launch Initiative partners with El Sol Neighborhood Educational Center, Loma Linda University, and local businesses in order to enhance economic mobility and self-sufficiency for families who are receiving public assistance in Riverside and San Bernardino counties by implementing a dual-prong approach of resilience mentoring and tailored vocational training.

This 18-month project will test the efficacy of the Launch Initiative in comparison to the standard workforce development. Given the pilot study nature of this initial project, the Launch team will partner with El Sol Neighborhood Educational Center in San Bernardino and Goodwill Southern California to select families who are likely to receive the greatest benefit from the Launch program.


Together with the El Sol Neighborhood Educational Center, the Launch Initiative demonstration project will recruit 45 families from areas within San Bernardino and Riverside Counties who are experiencing unstable economic conditions.  Their difficulties might include chronic unemployment, minimal education, unsafe neighborhoods, homelessness, living in public housing or being on parole.  Families will receive incrementally more intensive intervention strategies to move them from a state of dependency to prosperity. El Sol will hire three Life Coaches and one Navigator to recruit and assess 45 families. The components of this work shall consist of an assessment, case management, workshops, and referrals to training vocational education programs designed to increase the employability of the participant.  This program will initially be a 18-month pilot, and ongoing review of program components, participant engagement, and levels of success will ensure that Inland Empire Economic Partnership Foundation and El Sol staff work to refine and enhance service delivery and achieve the desired outcome of finding participants employment or a path to a career.

Interventions will include:

  • An intake process that assesses each family’s level of chronic burden from multiple standpoints such as: poverty, education, employment, housing, public health and mental health issues, substance abuse, family support or childcare need, and parole issues. Referrals would be made to supportive services groups to stabilize them.
  • Throughout their time in the program, participating families will have access to a Life Coach team member who will help them create a family development and implementation plan to take them from their current situation to a secure future. Team members will continue to address intake issues, connecting the family to needed services while providing accountability as they work toward family stabilization.
  • When participants are at a point of greater stability they will be given career training for regional jobs that are in demand and expected to grow. This rigorous and comprehensive curriculum will include needed basic educational skills as well as intensive, hands-on training on real-world projects made available by major local firms.  The training will give graduates nationally recognized credentials in technical specialties.
  • Major local firms in the IEEP’s Business Council will provide hands-on projects to the program as well as opportunities for internships. Importantly, this will include career placement for those completing the “Launch Initiative”
  • Throughout the effort, the program will stress the creation of inter-agency articulation as a model for scaling-up the effort. It will also generate the metrics needed to assess the program’s progress and success.



I am really thankful for having Yolanda Reyes as my life coach she has taught me so much and made me believe that I could accomplish anything that I put my mind into. I really appreciate for having this opportunity to have my personal life coach. Yolanda has helped me in so many ways. We all have limiting beliefs and patterns that are holding us back, preventing us from fulfilling our true potential. When we have a life coach that is there to push you beyond your limits and what you thought was possible, breakthrough happens. Your entire belief system changes and you take your life to another level. I am very happy and very thankful to have Yolanda as my life coach. She has showed me to believe in myself and Yolanda also believes in me, which has been giving me a strong level of believe in self-confidence within myself. Having a life coach it dies benefit you in so many ways. I really enjoy the time that I spend with Yolanda she is a role model to me. My life is changing so much since I met her, I made changes in my life, at work, in my home and al for good and it has benefit me and my family. I am so committed to everything I do. I am so thankful to have met Yolanda and having her as my coach means a lot to me. I have been through so much I get teary sometimes when I talk with my coach but once we are done with our meetings I got to work really happy and with a strong believe that there is someone out there that really cares and believes in you. Thank you so much for everything you do Yolanda! “God bless your heart”. I know and I have faith that I am going to reach the goals I have. I don’t think I would be able to do this on my own, without having someone to guide me and believing in me telling me that I could do it. Thank you so much once again for giving me this opportunity to have a life coach.  – Veronica Martinez, Launch Participant




I am very thankful that I for the opportunity to be a part of this pilot program. It has literally brought my life back to life again, without exaggeration. I will forever be grateful to my life coach, Juan Heredia. He is a person whom I can trust and who is at all deposition to help me, or anyone that he can assist to. This program opened up my eyes to many opportunities, but most importantly it awakened something deeper than that. For the first time in a long rime I felt like I was capable of doing anything I set my mind to do. I felt like all the goals I had in life could actually come true, and that I could actually make something for myself.

Before I started this program, I was at a very low point of my life. I wasn’t going to school, I didn’t have a job, and I had just broken up with my ex-boyfriend. My life was crumbling down more and more, my health issues were poor, sometimes I could barely get out of bed. My doctors advised me to get a therapist, so I did. I was “diagnosed” with anxiety and depression. Seeing a therapist really helped me, it was that little initiation to do better for myself, but I still felt like I needed a bigger push and that’s what this program did for me. It helped me layout everything I want to accomplish in life and for once actually have the means and dedication to surpass all of them. Meeting with my life coach is very essential to me, it reminds me of everything I am working on for my future.

Now I feel better than ever, this program gave me a leap of faith. I returned to school, working toward my associates degree so I can transfer to a four year and major in Business Administration with a minor in Child Development. I have an amazing job working at the Inland Empire Economic Partnership. Just 3 months on the job and they are transitioning me from Administrative Assistant to Executive Assistant. I support this program 100% and hope it helps others as much as it has helped me. – Jennifer Garcia, Participant



I have been in the Launch Initiative Pilot Program for a couple of weeks and I am happy to say that this is one of the best programs I’ve been in.  Mrs. Yolanda Reyes has been a great coach, she has introduced a couple of scheduling systems that have helped me with my organization skills. I really enjoy the one-on-one Life Coach Support, Yolanda is very enthusiastic and is constantly introducing new goal setting ideas and challenges that are helping me become more discipline. The connections to regional training and job fairs have been very informative. I don’t think I would have known about these programs without your Launch Initiative Pilot Program.  I am very grateful for the opportunity to be part of this coaching program, I have made more progress in a couple of weeks than I’ve made in the past few months. Also having someone to talk to regarding my goals gives me more courage to move forward. Looking forward to continuing with our program. – Yadira Aguayo, Participant



I am very grateful for the opportunities and staff that work together to ensure that I find a stable job. My Life Coach Guadalupe Estrada comes by every week to refer me to new job opportunities and resources. As well as support to find the right job that suits me. This program has been a great resource and I’d love for this program to continue to grow and provide many jobs to my community. – Jacqueline Gonzales, Participant



I started with the program around November which is where she told me about the program. At first I was interested in the program for my younger brother but as she started explaining it more to me I decided to enroll in the program as well. In 3 months this program has helped me a lot. They connected us with different centers to help us look for jobs, prepare for interviews, and resume writing. Talking with my life coach helped me prepare for my interviews, to set goals and stick to my plans. My main goal was to find another job (preferably as a Career Placement Specialist) because I didn’t like the job I had as a computer instructor. I had to drive all day and it didn’t have any benefits. The job was stressing me out since I had no secure or fixed income due to the fact that in that job they payed you only per class. If the students cancel, I don’t get paid. After applying to different jobs I had an interview with the Colton Joint Unified School District on Feb. 12, 2018 and on Feb. 20, 2018, I received a phone call with a job offer for the Career Guidance Technician Position with their Adult School. I officially start working with them on March 5, 2018. Thanks to this program I was able to get a job in what I wanted allowing to reach my goal before the time frame I was expected. My next step is to look for training and get more experience as a Career Guidance Tech to be able to apply for the full time position with the Regional Occupational Program as a Career Placement Specialist.Jessica Gutierrez, Participant  



I want to express my opinion on the Pilot Launch Initiative Program through which I have been a participant of since November of 2017. In these last months, I have gone through situations that have been very painful and traumatic in my life of which I felt I couldn’t recover from, but now, after having started the program, I can say that from the deepest part of my heart that it is the best decision that I have made in many years. Also, having my Life Coach Yolanda Reyes who was supporting me, instructing, and guiding me so much professionally and in my personal life. It has changed my life a great deal and before I felt that I didn’t have strength, I was sick, unsure and discouraged. Now I am sure of myself and feel I have the strength and confidence to come out ahead, thanks to her patience, guidance, dedication, and confidence that my Life Coach had demonstrated towards me. – Benita America Baez, Participant





First I want to thank the organizations for their operations and support for those that need and want to be prepare for a better life. For me it has been a great opportunity to empower oneself to obtain and orientate on how to reach major tools. It gives hope and confidence that they can help me to find a better job and the steps to help me reach my goals. Now that in these times it has been difficult to find something favorable. My Life Coach: Mrs. Yolanda Reyes has helped me in a lot of different areas of my life. She has supported me and given me tools in all aspects of my life as I can sense the drive to succeed. She also brings me information that helps me along with work material to keep me organized. She has shown me how to reach my goals, and I have seen the strength and I can sense that it is due to this program. I am very thankful for all the support and dedication that I have received to reach my goals. I appreciate everything Mrs. Yolanda Reyes has done for me and the results I have seen as well. – Maythe P Barboza, Participant





For more information on the Launch program, please contact the IEEP office at 909-944-2201.