Cities look to address food, housing insecurity among college students as a way to improve regional workforce

Chula Vista and San Diego among several cities across the country to tackle issue

San Diego County’s two largest cities are taking part in a nationwide initiative to ensure students in pursuit of postsecondary education have access to basic needs, such as food and housing.

Chula Vista and San Diego will join five cities in identifying those needs and creating a plan to support students.

City officials say that meeting basic needs will increase the number of individuals who obtain degrees and credentials, and as a result improve the region’s workforce.

“Chula Vista is concerned that our local college students are housing and food insecure,” Chula Vista Mayor Mary Casillas Salas said in a statement, adding that the initiative will enable the city “to learn the best methods to assist these students.”

The initiative, “Cities Addressing Basic Needs to Promote Postsecondary and Workforce Success,” is an 18-month technical assistance project lead by the National League of Cities.

The Washington, D.C. based-organization, which represents 19,000 municipalities in the United States, will provide the selected cities with resources, guidance and access to experts.

Research shows the lack of access to basic needs – food, housing, transportation and childcare – negatively impacts a student’s academic success.

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