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February 2001 Newsletter

Rosalita Troutt DOL Database Chief Elected Officials Wheels to Work
Job Shadow Day 2001

Experiential Education

Dalton State College News Youth Moving Up and Out

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West Central Technical College
Waco Career Resource Center News
by Mel Fain

Rosalita Troutt

On Sunday, February 11, 2001, Rosalita Troutt was featured on the front page of the Times-Georgian newspaper. Rose, the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Service Specialist at West Central Technical College (WCTC), was noted for her volunteer service to the community. At the time of year many of us wish would just go away, Rose is there to help.

Each year Rose becomes a Volunteer Income Tax Assistant sponsored by the Internal Revenue Service. In the paper, Rose was shown giving assistance to a University of West Georgia student at the Carrollton Communities Activities Center.

For information about the IRS Volunteer Program, give Rose a call at 770.836.6800, or she might be calling YOU! West Central Technical College strongly supports community service.

Waco Resource Center
Waco Career Resource Center
Photo by Allan Whitehead

Thank you to Allan Whitehead, Rehabilitation Services, for providing the pictures of the Waco Career Resource Center that were recently posted on the Career Depot web. The pictures may be viewed at www.careerdepot.org/wctc.htm.

DOL Workforce System Database

West Central Technical College recently hosted a two-day training session on the new Georgia Department of Labor Workforce System database. Bernice Jackson through the Coosa Valley RDC and support of the Northwest Georgia Workforce Investment Board coordinated this event through New Connections and WCTC WIA Service Specialist, Rose Troutt.

Over 20 participants were involved including staff from West Central Technical College, Coosa Valley Technical College, North Metro Technical College, Coosa Valley RDC, and employees of the Cedartown, Rome, and Atlanta Offices of the Department of Labor. The new data system will provide such things as:

Customer Intake/Update, Customer Information Inquiry, Customer Work History Inquiry Listings, Customer Work History Employer Entry/Update, Customer Skills Profile, and Employment Service Intake.

Workforce Investment requires a customer service data base that will lend support to Career Planning for Employment Services, Job Search Assistance, and Career Information Services for all Georgians. It is around the corner.

Chief Elected Officials

Northwest Georgia is pleased to welcome six newly appointed members to the Council of Chief Elected Officials. The newest members are:

Winford Long, Chairman
Catoosa County Commission

Charles Sanders, Sole Commissioner
Haralson County

Tyson Haynes, Sole Commissioner
Murray County

Jerry Shearin, Chairman
Paulding County Commission

William L. Newton, Sole Commissioner
Pickens County

Bebe Heiskell, Sole Commissioner
Walker County

The Council of Chief Elected Officials works with the Northwest Georgia Workforce Investment Board to provide direction and set policies and procedures for the Northwest Georgia One-Stop System.

Wheels to Work

The number one barrier to employment for Family and Children Service clients is lack of reliable transportation. Northwest Georgia, fortunately, has a new program that is addressing the barrier. The Wheels to Work program provides interest-free car loans to residents of our region who are referred through a Family and Children Services office. Eligible individuals may purchase a vehicle with no money down and with a minimal monthly payment.

The automobiles are obtained through donations or purchased from community resources. The money repaid by purchasers is then used to purchase additional cars, to help defer repair costs on vehicles, and for driversí training and operating costs.

The program benefits participants by providing affordable transportation and by helping establish a credit history. In return participants must repay the loan through regular monthly installments, maintain insurance on the vehicles, maintain and repair the vehicle as needed, and keep vehicles in good condition through regular servicing for the duration of the loan period.

Northwest Georgia is fortunate to have two programs operating in our area that cover all 15 of our counties. Limestone Valley RC&D Council, 125 Red Bud Road NE, Suite 7, Calhoun GA 30701 operates the program for Catoosa, Chattooga, Cherokee, Dade, Fannin, Gilmer, Gordon, Murray, Pickens, Walker, and Whitfield Counties. The contact person is Carolyn Egnor, Wheels to Work Case Manager, 770.548.3540. Rolling Hills RC&D, 120 Cherokee Circle, Cedartown, GA 30125 operates the program for Bartow, Floyd, Haralson, Paulding, and Polk counties. The Case Manager is Keith Gaston who can be reached at 770.749.9228.

Keith and Carolyn regularly attend our regionís local collaborative meetings and will also be glad to come and provide information about the program to your group.

David Howerin, Coosa Valley RDC, is the Equal Opportunity Officer for the Workforce Investment Act. David can be reached at 706.295.6485.

Job Shadow Day 2001

Initial feedback indicates that Job Shadow Day 2001 may be the most successful to date. Most news outlets did more in-depth coverage of the event than in past years. Additionally, areas are becoming even more creative with the kinds of job shadowing experiences they offer. Profile of the event was raised when the State Department allowed C-SPAN and a commercial network television crew to cover Secretary Colin Powellís job shadowing experience.

Job Shadow Day occurs annually in February. It is a great opportunity to introduce children to the world of work. (Thanks Dawn Townsend, IT&T, for providing Job Shadow Day 2001 information.)

Experiential Education

"Experiential education [combining learning with experiences using what is being learned] is based on the premise that true learning is not measured by what students learn but how they apply this to their roles as citizens, workers, and leaders. The more we learn, the more we discover what a lifelong journey education can be. The journey inspires us to reach not only inside ourselves but outside of ourselves to connect our myriad roles as learners and leaders. Experiential education is a journey that makes a difference in our communities, classrooms, and our world." - National Society for Experiential Education (Thanks Wanda Williams for providing the quote.)

Dalton State College News

New Connection to Work and Dalton State College are please to be offering Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Training with classes starting March 12 and lasting until May 9. The times for classes will be 8:00 am until 2:00 pm, Monday - Friday, on the Dalton State College campus.

The classes prepare participants for the State licensure exam. Through the CNA program, participants can earn a Mini-Certificate from Dalton State College, and the CNA program is HOPE eligible. If you have any questions about the training, you may contact Karen White at 706.272.4592 or Dana Wilson at 706.272.2608.

Northwest Georgia Youth Moving Up & Out!
by Wanda Williams

Look out Northwest Georgia!

The youth in this are are going places! They are no longer content to sit at home being couch potatoes or hang out while their peers are going to school or beginning interesting careers. Many youth in this part of the state who have dropped out of school have taken control of their own destinies and have started on the road to success. They are moving up and getting out of the trap of no education! How? The answer is simple - through the WIA Youth System.

There are now two programs operating in this area for WIA eligible, out-of-school youth ages 16 through 21. Through both of these programs youth receive comprehensive assessments which address aptitude, interest, grade level functioning and vocational/employment related goals. They are then guided in setting goals toward achieving success. A written assessment is provided of each youthís employment training needs and their interests to determine both strengths and weaknesses and supportive services needs. These written assessments form the basis for determining the types of training - basic skills, work readiness, and/or occupational specific skills - which best suits the needs of the individual and is related as much as possible to their employment goals.

Youth receive training in citizenship and life coping skills such as organizing resources, developing leadership skills, understanding complex inter-relationships, working with a variety of technologies, and developing a commitment to life-long learning. Tutoring in subjects such as English, reading and math, occupational specific skills, and job readiness/job retention skills are important parts of the WIA Youth System. The youth are encouraged to study for and take their GED exam. Computer skills are also incorporated as each youth utilizes various computer software to accomplish classroom and/or home assignments.

Endless Opportunities, Inc., which serves WIA eligible youth who are residents of Catoosa, Gordon, Murray, and Whitfield counties, has operated programs for youth who left high school prior to graduation for approximately 12 years. They have on staff a School Certified Counselor who has a professional certificate and who regularly meets with the registrants to determine their progress in achieving classroom goals as well as in dealing with any barriers that may interfere with their successful completion of the program.

One of the highlights for youth who attend Endless Opportunities and who attain their GED as a result of their efforts is a graduation ceremony, complete with cap and gown, guest speakers, and all of the pomp and circumstance usually associated with a high school graduation. Of the youth who enrolled in their program between July 1, 1999, and June 30, 2000, 96.3% successfully completed the program, with 62% of them attaining their GED.

For out-of-school youth who are residents of Catoosa, Chattooga, Dade, or Walker Counties, a similar yet different program recently began classes under the auspices of Northwestern Technical College. While providing the same components as Endless Opportunities, this program has a slightly different twist. All of the registrants in this program will receive training in principles of quality customer service. Successful completers of this program will have entry level skills needed to obtain employment as customer service representatives. The Instructor for this program has an extensive background working with youth who have barriers which puts them at risk of not completing school and/or in obtaining employment.

One advantage to this program is that youth will be a part of a larger learning environment - Northwestern Technical College - and will be encouraged to utilize the resources of the College while they are registered in the WIA program. It is anticipated that this will result in many of the youth transitioning to advanced programs of study once they have completed the WIA program.

The first class at Northwestern Technical College began in February 2001. Students are expected to be able to complete this program in approximately ten weeks.

 

Both of these youth programs work collaboratively with other community agencies and organizations to encourage youth to adopt the philosophy of life-long learning. They are funded through the Northwest Georgia Workforce Investment Program; and there is no cost for tuition, books, or supplies at either of these programs. Youth must meet eligibility criteria and may also qualify for a stipend to assist with transportation and child care costs.

For additional information, contact: Chris Johnson, Endless Opportunities, Inc., 305 South Thornton Avenue, Suite N-5, Dalton GA 30720, Phone 706.275.0545 or Beverly Mathis, Northwestern Technical College Career Depot, 265 Bicentennial Trail, Rock Spring GA 30739, Phone 706.764.3597.

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