Each Friday, the group of kids explore a new career field. During the visit to the hospital, participants dressed in scrubs just as hospital personnel do and learned about operating room procedures hands-on.
The Rise Up Career Ready Youth Employment Initiative was designed to immerse 60 eligible youths ages 16 and up in the world of work. This comprehensive program has identified youths who will enter the workforce within the next 18 to 24 months and provide them with the tools to set them apart from other job seekers their age.
“The 60 youths who participated in the Rise Up Career Ready Youth Employment Initiative were chosen from the 200 youths currently in the Emerging Leaders Initiative, “ said Monika De La Garza, communications and outreach coordinator for Workforce Solutions of the Coastal Bend.
“Those youths who participated in activities throughout the year, completed Career Ready Workforce Certification workshops, and expressed an interest in working during the summer were matched with employers in their area.”
More than 30 percent of the participants in this initiative are foster youths and youths with disabilities.
Each of the 60 youths also attended an abbreviated version of the four-day Workforce Solutions Career Ready Workforce Certification Program, which provides ‘soft skills’ training including job readiness and financial literacy prior to their subsidized employment placement at a worksite in one of the 12 counties served by Workforce Solutions.
Once placed with an employer, the learning doesn’t stop for the youths. They continue to learn about financial literacy through web-based curriculum provided by the DollarWi$e Campaign in partnership with the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
“In addition to completing their education, we hope the youth participants learn what it means to be employed and also understand the importance of ‘soft skills’ needed to do the job,” said De La Garza. “We hope the youth participants understand how valuable a well-trained, committed and responsible employee is to a business.
“In addition, through the career exploration activities we hope to spark an interest and/or introduce the youth participants to ‘in-demand’ career occupations throughout the Coastal Bend. It’s not about just getting a job. We guide our youth participants to invest in a career pathway for a better quality of life.”
Forty-two employers from across the Coastal Bend are participating in this initiative. Youth worksites include Bee County Courthouse, City of Robstown, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, San Patricio Health Department, Baseline Data Welding Services in Sinton, Dr. Nerd Computers, Craft Training Center and many more.
Participants from Beeville included Steven Barrera, Yesenia N. Cantu, Khiry J. Franke, Stacy Franklin, Jonathon K. Garcia, Joe D. Montes III, Alisa K. Patterson, Allison M. Patterson and Alexis C. Pelitire.