(KPIX 5) — It can be hard to find a job nowadays if you don’t have a basic knowledge of technology, but a Berkeley nonprofit has been training people for decades.
U.S. Navy veteran Mike Paige got the computer skills he needed to land an administrative job, thanks to Mansour Id-Deen.
“Mr. Mansour means everything to me. He’s a friend, confidante, mentor,” said Paige.
Id-Deen founded Inter-City Services in Berkeley in 1984. The nonprofit provides free training in computer basics and job hunting needed to secure employment and keep it.
“Contrary to what a lot of people might think, there are significant numbers of people that’ve got no computer skills,” explained Id-Deen.
Funded mainly by grants, the nonprofit serves Berkeley’s homeless, low income and disabled.
In addition, Inter-City Services helps Alameda County’s formerly incarcerated and Bay Area veterans.
“My goal for them is to be able to participate in the 21st century,” Id-Deen stated.
The nonprofit services about 200 people a year, and 65 to 70 percent get placed in internships, college, or jobs, oftentimes through the organization’s partners.
Inter-City Services helped prepare Meagan Smith for job interviews and got her a free, new laptop using veterans funds she didn’t even know about.
“It’s really nice to have someone ‘on my six,’ as we call it in the military, to have my back,” said Smith.
Id-Deen is known as a calm, steady leader..
Berkeley City Council member Ben Bartlett refers unemployed folks to him for training and has hired them afterward at his law firm.
“He’s been servicing so many people for so long that he’s always my go to,” Bartlett said.
Id-Deen is also President of the Berkeley chapter of the NAACP. He worked with the city of Berkeley to come up with a plan to increase diversity in hiring.
He’s also helping the NAACP Youth Council raise money so dozens of young people can attend its annual conference in Boston in June 2020.
“It’s a great thing to see and great feeling to know you can make difference in someone’s life,” Id-Deen reflected.
So for equipping society’s most vulnerable with basic vocational skills, this week’s Jefferson Award in the Bay Area goes to Mansour Id-Deen.