Monday, October 17, 2011

Youths to get help with work skills

By Joy Campbell, Messenger-Inquirer
Published: Sunday, October 16, 2011 1:02 AM CDT

This month the Green River Area Development District launched an initiative to help youths ages 16 to 21 in the Green River region gain work skills and work experience.

The program will run through June 30 and has two tracks — Ready to Work and Ready to Learn.

Through the Ready to Work program, young people may update soft skills like attendance and punctuality along with life skills before being placed in a job lasting at least 2,000 hours.

This track includes the Test of Adult Basic Education and Interest Inventory Assessment test, as well as classes in how to complete an application, résumé writing, a National Career Readiness Certificate and interviewing skills. They also learn how to dress for a job and budget, including how to open a checking account.

The program also covers, “now you have the job, what do you do now?” according to GRADD officials.

The Ready to Learn track includes basic skills for those testing under a grade nine in math and/or reading. This program will cover the Test of Adult Basic Education and 20 hours a week of adult education. Once the student tests at grade nine or above, he or she will go into the Ready to Work program.

The young workers will receive $50 gift cards when they complete each component.

These sessions also fold into the county’s plan to become a certified work ready community. One of the focus areas for the committee spearheading this effort is to ensure the county can document that workers have had training in soft skills.

Counties who want to earn the Certified Work Ready Community status have to prove that they meet the state’s criteria in six areas: high school graduation rate, National Career Readiness Certification holders, demonstrated community commitment, educational attainment, soft skills development and digital literacy.

The goal is to submit an application for the Work Ready Community Certification by the second week in December with review taking place in January and February.

Joy Campbell, 691-7299,