SAN BERNARDINO – Nate Rogers has bounced around the Inland Empire and High Desert for much of his life.

Apple Valley, San Bernardino and now Chino are among the places Rogers has called home. A one-time dropout, the 19-year-old Rogers said he recently earned his diploma from Buena Vista High School in Chino and completed a temporary job fixing cars at a Chino car business.

“My mom and my brother and my sister and my family never had a steady structure,” Rogers said. “There was no money to pay for food or pay the bills.”

Rogers found the garage job through the San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board, he said. The work paid $8 per hour, and the placement put him on the business’s payroll for 250 hours.

“It meant a lot just to get a check and say `Mom, here’s $150 or $200 to help pay the rent,” he said.

Rogers is now looking for a chance to do “anything I can do with my hands” while also planning to take classes at Mt. San Antonio College. He wants to transfer to a four-year university and get a job helping youths, all while possibly earning a doctorate.

Rogers was one of the about 600 youths who attended on Thursday the Workforce Investment Board’s annual Y4 conference, which took place inside a hangar at the Million Air franchise at San Bernardino International Airport.

Million Air franchises provide fueling and terminal services for private and charter aviation, and the San Bernardino franchise

The board uses U.S. Labor Department funding to help Rogers and other young people a chance to experience life in the workplace.

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