Tom Hansen, business manager for IBEW Local 302, joined the WDB board in October 2017 as a representative to labor. He serves on the Executive Committee and recently joined the Youth Committee, which is an ideal match for his interest in helping foster youth.
The IBEW office building where Hansen has worked for years also houses Contra Costa County’s Independent Living Skills Program, which prepares foster youth to exit care and become emancipated adults. Being in close proximity, over the years, Hansen got to know the program and the youth involved. He learned a sobering statistic: Approximately 25% of former foster youth experience homelessness within 4 years of being emancipated from the foster care system. Hansen said he also learned that youth who held jobs prior to becoming an adult were more likely to continue being employed in the future.
Knowing this has made him want to help ensure foster youth have access to work opportunities to help put them on a path to future security and plans to be a focal point for him during his time on the Youth Committee.
Overall, Hansen said he values showing up as a board member and doing his part so those in charge can do their jobs to help Contra Costa County jobseekers and employers.
“You realize how important it is that people participate and take part,” Hansen said. “You need regular people to show up and take part to make it effective and actually function.”
In addition to serving on the WDB board, Hansen serves on the board of directors for the WestCAT bus line and as an advisory board member for the Golden Gate Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He also serves on the East Bay Leadership Council.