The TCWIB Youth Development program is overseen by the TCWIB and its Youth Committee. In general, the youth programs are designed to offer the neediest youth opportunities to successfully transition to adult roles and responsibilities. While youth program design does ensure that Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) performance measures are met, the emphasis has been on teaching academic and employability skills to youth who might otherwise not have an opportunity to succeed academically or vocationally. The youth service providers work with various agencies to recruit the neediest youth who may be out-of-school, homeless, aging out of foster care, offenders, disabled, and other at-risk youth. The Youth Committee has a proactive vision of creating a seamless system that ensures all youth transition successfully from school to advanced training to work.
The Youth Committee continues to develop a strategy for providing comprehensive services for in and out-of-school youth consistent with the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, that address local needs and considers availability of local resources. The activities include: the objective assessment of each youth; the development of individual services strategies; the delivery of services which prepare youth for postsecondary educational opportunities; linking academic and occupational learning; preparing youth for employment; and providing connections to intermediary organizations linked to the job market and employers.
The Youth Committee offers youth employment opportunities for in-school and out-of-school that link academic and occupational learning, and provide other elements and strategies as appropriate to serve the needs and goals of the participants. The youth employment opportunities are integrated this program with a comprehensive strategy for addressing the youth’s employment and training needs. Youth who participate in the program receive at a minimum twelve months follow-up services. The employment opportunity also provide planned structured work experiences that take place in a workplace for a limited period of time. Depending on the needs of the participant, work experiences may be paid or unpaid. Work experiences workplaces are in the private, for-profit sector; the non-profit sector; or the public sector. These experiences enable youth to gain exposure to the working world and its requirements. Youth are able to acquire the personal attributes, knowledge, and skills needed to obtain a job and advance in employment.
The Youth Committee also links youth programming to high priority occupations and cluster groupings. The Youth Committee understands that to be truly successful in creating a youth system, there must be partnership between business, schools, support groups and other agencies in the process. It is always a priority of the Youth Committee to reconnect disconnected youth to career pathways and education. Youth are assessed as they enter a program. Training is provided as needed for ABE, GED, work readiness, or advanced skills. In addition, youth may be set up in a work experience such as an internship or on the job training. While youth programs are always linked with HPO lists and cluster activities, this becomes even more crucial in the economic downturn. Therefore, youth are given experiences that will enhance their success in the job market. TANF Youth Development programs center on the industry clusters.
Youth within the programs are provided information with STEM-related jobs as well as green jobs. In addition, youth in the local area are served in Tri-County Business-Education Partnership projects which provide a variety of career-related activities to youth and educators.
All programs monitored by TCWIB and by the Youth Committee.