People, Inc. has developed a range of youth workforce development initiatives to promote completion of high school, post-secondary training and employment readiness.
People, Inc. offers a large range of services under Youth Workforce Development Programs:
Client Choice Tutoring Time involves weekly tutoring sessions structured to encourage time management and personal responsibility. Students decide how to spend their tutoring time. They must complete homework assignments, spend twenty minutes on icouldbe.org (an on-line mentoring resource), and complete an activity in the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) workbook. Once these activities are completed, they have free time for the remainder of the tutoring session to research college/careers on the Internet, play career-oriented games, or look at resource materials available in the classroom.
Study Skills Training is offered to high school and college students. This is conducted through three classes that teach a variety of skills including improving reading skills, developing study skills, locating and researching information skills, improving writing skills, and test-taking strategies.
Job Readiness Classes are conducted in groups and designed according to client needs. The focus is determined by how close the group is to being job-ready. For example, those prepared to join the workforce a short period of time are helped with issues that affect the world of work such as time management skills in the workplace. Other groups that are not as close to gaining employment will focus on issues that relate to their personal lives as well as the workplace. A special series of three workshops are provided during a week in March to high school seniors taking vocational training.
Bristol Learning In Field Environments (LIFE) Program is a collaboration of People Inc.’s WIA-Youth Program and the Bristol Virginia Public Schools. LIFE teaches students work readiness skills (including study skills, money management, career exploration) and provides field experiences. Vocational Evaluation and Counseling services are provided to 11th and 12th graders with disabilities.
Occupational Exploration occurs through a partnership with the local community college through weeklong core lab training and field trips to related businesses and industries. Occupations include Computer Hardware Maintenance, Drafting and Design, Nursing, Robotics, and Web Page Development. A luncheon with a presentation of core lab projects to parents and others is held at the conclusion of training.
Internships are arranged and designed to lead to a permanent job. These are paid positions with the number of hours, length of training and rate of pay varying based upon employer requirements and the training needs of the client.
Parental Involvement is fostered through one-on-one contacts to encourage and support parents in their role with their child. This includes assisting with paperwork for college, providing information about youth opportunities offered, and up-dates on progress with tutoring and/or other activities.
Character Education is included with academic enrichment during the summer. Topics discussed include values, stress, conflict, peer pressure, leadership, responsibility, and group work. Role-playing is used to provide different perspectives and to demonstrate that there are many ways to handle a situation.
First Time College Students at the local community college are helped to understand what is expected in the college environment Students learn about time management, how the college setting varies from high school, and other expectations at the college level. The program accompanies the student to the college they will be attending for placement testing and to meet with financial aid officers. Students are tracked for attendance and grades during their first semester.
A Senior Program Coordinator, a Work Readiness Instructor, and a Youth Workforce Development Specialist staff the Youth Workforce Development Program. Tutors are hired on an hourly contract basis. Title I Workforce Investment Act (WIA) funding supports all components of the program.
Overall FY ’02 youth results for the entire WIA Service Area were:
Entered Employment Rate – 87.5%
Retention Rate – 75%
Credential Rate – 44.4%
Skill Attainment Rate – 98.1%
Diploma or Equivalent Attainment – 100%
Retention Rate - 58.1%
Betty Rowe, Director of Workforce Development