Program prepares young people for workforce

Posted 11/22/16

Two new programs in Bartow County aim to help young adults who currently are not in school complete their high school education or gain additional employment skills.

Last month, Paxen Learning Services started two programs for young people ages …

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Program prepares young people for workforce

Posted

Two new programs in Bartow County aim to help young adults who currently are not in school complete their high school education or gain additional employment skills.

Last month, Paxen Learning Services started two programs for young people ages 16-24: the Out-of-School Youth GED Program, designed for participants who aren’t enrolled in traditional school but want to earn a high school diploma or GED equivalent; and the Out-of-School Youth Career Pathways Program, designed for participants who already have a diploma or GED but need additional skills to get and keep a job.

“This program seeks to impact the community and assist young adults with becoming productive citizens within the regional areas we serve,” said Courtney Rouse, program manager for northwest Georgia (Bartow, Haralson and Paulding). “Our program seeks to assist those youth who have multiple barriers and lack the support necessary to complete an educational program or seek and secure long-term employment. The GED and career pathways program combines those necessary education, training and employer engagement to make an impact on the economic development of local workforce regions.”

The GED program helps individuals earn their GED and get placed in the workforce, post-secondary institutions or the military.

Participants receive comprehensive instruction in math, science, social studies and reasoning through language arts; instruction in work-readiness skills like resume-building, time management and financial literacy; and work experience.

The career pathways program allows young adults to learn skills — like resume-building, time management and financial literacy — needed to go into the workforce, post-secondary institutions or the military. They also get work experience with area employers.

“We will teach a GED course that will prepare students to take the official GED test as well as provide work-readiness training for them,” Rouse said. “In addition, there will be a separate course that will be geared toward high school diploma and GED recipients that will teach them work-readiness skills to prepare them for the workforce. All participants may be eligible for work experience, either paid or unpaid, where we are able to pair the student with a work site so that they may gain valuable work experience that they can put on their resumes.”

The first classes began in October at 121 E. Felton Road in Cartersville, and the program, which operates on a year-round cohort cycle, is now enrolling for upcoming classes.

Classes are conducted Monday through Friday at various times, depending on the program.

“GED is a very structured, rigorous, fast-track program geared to help participants earn a GED credential in eight to 12 weeks,” Rouse said. “Classes are closely aligned with local high schools, with class starting at 8:30 or 9 [a.m.] and ending at either 3:30 or 4 [p.m.].”

The Bartow location, which has one GED instructor and one career facilitator who teaches work-readiness training, can accommodate 12 to 15 students per class cohort for the GED program and 15 to 20 participants in the career pathways class.

Young people who want to participate in the program must go through the application process that requires them to have a valid, government-issued identification card and a Social Security card.

“We will help them fill out the application at the office,” Rouse said.

Once an applicant is approved, “we create an Individual Employment/Success Plan with them that outlines the strategy that will lead to their success,” Rouse said.

“This is based on entry adult basic education assessment results, barriers and participation in class sessions,” she said. “... If a participant is in need of additional tutoring and remediation after the initial class session, it is available.”