Worcester Youth and Family Receives Funding for Youth Employment Program
(November 10, 2019, Berlin, Md.)—Worcester Youth and Family Counseling Services (WYFCS) has received new funding for their Career Assistance Program (CAP) to help youth between the ages of 18 and 24 who are unemployed, underemployed and not enrolled in school. This population is commonly referred to as “opportunity youth” and are at high risk for social service dependency. Funding from the Workforce Investment Opportunity Act through the Lower Shore Workforce Alliance will enable the agency to help prepare these young people for employment or higher education.
Worcester County has the highest rate of opportunity youth in the State of Maryland. The goal of the program is to help them start a career, obtain an apprenticeship through a local business, begin technical training in the trades or enroll in higher education.
WYFCS is asking the community to refer young people to the program, so they may begin their path toward a lifelong career. “Many of us know young people who’ve tried college, determined is wasn’t for them, and now don’t know what to do,” said WYFCS Executive Director, “Similarly, some have known all along college wasn’t their best choice and don’t know what to do. This program is for them.”
Upon entering the program, assessment tools develop a personalized strength-based profile and identify specific training modules to enhance skills necessary for gainful employment. WYFCS staff assist with job readiness and enrollment training, career placement, apprenticeships, or matriculation into higher education.
The program offers three pathways for employment. The first is through apprenticeships where participants have some job skills but need other support systems to maintain employment. The second is to build or enhance skills through technical training through a certification program like HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning), welding, nursing, commercial driving, etc. The third is to enroll in a local college for higher education. In each case, WYFCS staff will work with participants to ensure they’re making progress and maintaining their personal goals for independence and employment.
Through this process, young people will envision their future and take the necessary steps to achieve that vision. The program is intended to equip opportunity youth with necessary skills to be successful in both the workplace and life. Training also includes soft skill development such as business communication, work ethic, problem-solving and self-confidence, as well as life skill education such as interpersonal skills, healthy relationships, home budgeting and personal care.
Staff will work closely with businesses owners to ensure they’re aware of the program and to explore opportunities for apprenticeships or hiring quality employees. If you are a business owner or know young people interested in learning more about this important program, please call our office at (410) 641-4598.