The West Tennessee Workforce Development Board-Area 11 (LWDA-11) places a major emphasis on youth by targeting the at-risk youth of our communities, and those who have not done well in school systems. Also, those who have other barriers limiting their ability to get and keep good jobs. Youth services conducted by LWDA-11 cover a broad range of coordinated activities including opportunities for youth training in academic and occupational learning.
Services that we provide include, but are not limited to the following: tutoring and study skill training, alternative secondary school services, summer employment opportunities, paid and unpaid work experience, occupational skills training, leadership development, adult mentoring, comprehensive guidance and counseling, and supportive services. Some of the Youth Program highlights include the Gang Prevention Program that took place this past summer. The Gang Prevention Summer Work Experience Program was a locally funded initiative between the City of Jackson, WIOA Area-11, and the Madison County Juvenile Courts. The targeted youths, whose ages were between 15-18, had the opportunity to experience an enriching and constructive summer through subsidized placements in private and public sectors, government agencies, and non-profit organizations.
The key purpose of the program was to provide 42 high-risk juvenile offenders with an 8-week exploration that is more than just a “job”, but a true learning experience, on-the-job training, and case management. The eligible youth were targeted and referred by the Madison County Juvenile Court Services with a court order from Madison County Juvenile Court Judge, Christy Little.
Those chosen had to meet the age requirements, be a resident of Madison County and had to meet other criteria that was laid out within the program.
Another one of the highlights from the past year was the 2012 Summer Work Experience Program which involved 100 youth that were already enrolled in WIOA. They were placed in meaningful worksites that fit their individual interests, and were in the program for six weeks.
The program began in early June of this year, and it included each of the eight SWHRA counties with participants working in various job settings.