I ran some numbers for a project I am working on with County Commissioner Hartmann and was pleased to discover the payoff of our focus on helping young people prepare for jobs and become employed.
This is one of the more important things we do here. Not only does it help the young person become job ready and find gainful employment, but it helps businesses in our area find workers with needed skills.
In 2013, Job and Family Services spent $2.3 million helping young people ages 14 to 21 prepare for and attain employment. They learned how to create a resume, interviewing skills, budgeting skills and more so they were job-ready when an employer came calling. 83% of these youth were placed in employment or education, 92% earned a diploma or vocational certificate and 52% significantly increased their reading and math skills
This summer, the agency may spend up to $3 million on WIA Summer Youth Employment. At least 400 youth will be served. Each youth will be placed in a real-world work site for the bulk of their time in this program. They will also leave with a resume, career plan, academic plan, and budgeting skills.
In the Connecting the Dots program, more than 100 foster youth will receive mentoring and “aging out” assistance as they transition from the foster system to life on their own. The goal is to spend as much as $400,000 preparing these youth to leave the foster care system with the academic, professional and life skills that they need to thrive in their adult lives.
I am proud to say this work contributes to our local economy, creating productive citizens and enhancing our present and future workforce with skilled workers.