If you have questions about the Richmond YouthWORKS program, or would like more information about the services we offer, please call our main desk at 510.412.2044, or you may contact any of our staff listed below:
Jay Leonhardy is the Program Manager for the YouthWORKS Division of the Department of Employment & Training. His role with the Department focuses on services and programs for youth. Mr. Leonhardy has over twenty-five years’ experience in program management in both the non-profit and government sectors. He has initiated, developed and led many youth-serving projects in the Bay Area, primarily in Oakland and Richmond, California. His experience also includes several years working at the Family & Child Guidance Clinic of the Native American Health Center in Oakland, California, providing mental health services to urban Native American families and youth, as well as working as a policy analyst to several locally elected officials in the East Bay.
Senior Employment Specialist
Senior Employment Specialist, Gilbert Pete, has an extensive background in resource and project development. Mr. Pete has over twenty years of experience working with economically challenged Young Adult populations, providing case management, life skills development, employment training and educational advancement. He is skilled in interviewing and in ensuring that services are aligned with mandated outcomes while benefiting the population being served. He has served as the facilitator for numerous life skills, pre-employment, and conflict mediation workshops.
Employment Specialist II
Employment Specialist, LaKema Sams, is a City of Richmond native and has worked as a Case Manager for the City of Richmond’s YouthWORKS program for over 12 years. She matriculated with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management at Grambling State University and earned her Masters of Public Administration at Cal State Eastbay. Her pedagogical and professional background includes an aggregation of business practices and public principles. She works to utilize her duality of education and professional experience to provide seamless and useful services to socio-economically challenged and disadvantaged communities, families and youth.
Employment Specialist II
Employment Specialist, Chris K. Karnsouvong, is a long time resident of Richmond and worked for the City of Richmond for more than 15 years. He is fluent in the Southeast Asian languages of Khmu, Lao and Thai and has been working for the City of Richmond for over 15 years. He has been with YouthWORKS since its inception in 1998 and has prior experience working in the West Contra Costa Unified School District. In addition, he provides workshops in conflict mediation, life skills/communication, primarily for in-school youth.