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Newsletter January 1999 

Michael Thurmond Ready, Set, One-Stop Summer Youth
Collaboration Works Kingdomality careerdepot.org


Michael Thurmond

Michael L. Thurmond became Georgia=s eighth Labor Commissioner on January 11. Georgia=s new Governor, Roy Barnes, administered the oath of office. In 1997, the Commissioner was appointed the first distinguished practitioner/lecturer at UGA=s Carl Vinson Institute of Government where he worked until becoming Labor Commissioner.

For four years prior to his appointment at the university, he was head of the Department of Family & Children Services where he developed and directed the state=s historic transition from welfare-to-work, a program that has served as a model for the rest of the nation.

Commissioner Thurmond is a strong supporter of the DOL/DHR/DTAE Collaborative. Welcome back, Commissioner Thurmond.

Ready, Set, One Stop

Northwest Georgia=s third Ready, Set,One-Stop workshop will be held on February 12 at Northwestern Technical Institute, 295 Bicentennial Trail, Rock Spring, GA, in the Auditorium. The Technical Institute is located off of Highway 27, approximately midway between Chickamauga Battlefield and LaFayette . The workshop will start at 9:30 a.m. and will end by 2:00 p.m.

Carolyn Hargreaves, Georgia Department of Labor, Job Training Division, will make a presentation about Shared Assessment, including information about the Job Readiness Check List. Shared Assessment processes and the Check List were prepared by the DOL/DHR/DTAE Assessment Work Team and will become part of the statewide no-wrong-door approach to One Stop activities.

Also on the agenda will be an update on the Workforce Investment Act, JTPA, and Welfare-to-Work; more information about governance of One Stops; and a brief, elementary discussion of how to access the Internet. You may also tour the Career Depot at Northwestern Tech, our region's first One-Stop Shop.

Please contact Carol Lockett at Coosa Valley RDC, 706-295-6485 e-mail clockett@cvrdc.org,   and let her know if you will attend on February 12th. This will help us greatly in knowing how many handouts to prepare.

Don't forget -- John Chamberlain January 28 & 29 at Coosa Valley Tech's Rome Campus Implementing the Workforce Investment Act.

Summer Youth
by Wanda W. Williams, Youth Coordinator

The Northwest Georgia Private Industry Council again plans to operate a summer work program for underprivileged youth, ages 14-21. The summer programs will be operated by local Boards of Education. Approximately $1,227,215 will be divided between the 15 counties to be used to pay the participants a stipend while attending classes or wages for hours worked. The wages, fringe, travel, and training materials and supplies for the staff from the school systems who operate the program will also be paid from this amount. The program will operate from June 1 through September 30, 1999.

Youth who qualify for the program will participate in life skills training, remediation of reading skills and/or summer school, if needed, and citizenship skills training. They will then go to work in either the public or private sector. Several of our past participants have been class valedictorians and have gone on to successful college and/or business careers. These students and others like them will be a valuable part of many public organizations and private for profit companies this summer. The young people in our program are already on the path to success - they have the desire to learn and to work which is so important in today's youth population!

Approximately 600 participants will be working this summer in occupations which include soil scientist helper, nursery school attendant, library assistant, aquatic life helper, electronics technician helper, data entry clerk, front desk receptionist, and recreation park assistant. One of the participants from the summer of '98 worked in broadcasting at their local television network. Perhaps we will see some other fortunate student in a similar position this summer.

The Eligibility Staff from Coosa Valley Regional Development Center (RDC) can begin taking applications as early as mid February. Youth who are ages 14 through 21 and who are interested in being in the program should contact their local school counselors. If you are interested in participating in the program by providing a worksite for an aspiring young person or if you want additional information about the program, please contact me at (706) 295-6485. You may also e-mail questions to me. My address on the web is wwilliam@cvrdc.org. If you would like to visit one of our participants from the summer of '98, he can be located on the world wide web at www.mindspring.com/~heathjack.  I am sure you will find him a pleasure to meet.

It doesn't matter to me what you do for a living, I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.

-The Invitation
by Oriah Mountain Dreamer, Indian Elder

Collaboration Works!
From the NTI Newsletter by Rita Stacks:

This is a story about a student who succeeded with the help of many different agencies in the community. The star in this story is Rita Stacks. The co-stars in this collaborative effort are Northwestern Technical Institute (NTI), the Job Training Partnership Program, Walker County Family and Children Services, LaFayette Housing Authority, and Debbie Smith who served as a mentor to Rita during her job search. Rita wanted to share her story with other students who might need a little hope from day to day.

My name is Rita Stacks. I am a single parent with three children. Due to circumstances beyond my control, I was depending on state assistance to survive and raise my children. I dropped out of high school and didn't obtain my GED until 1993. With the help of the [Family and Children Services] PEACH program I was able to go back to school to get the proper skills to enter the workforce.

As time went on I thought I wouldn't be able to achieve my goal of school. I was scared to go back because of my age and because I didn't think I was smart enough. I was also going through other personal problems as well. I wanted to give up and quit so many times, but I had the support of so many agencies in the community who cared and backed me when I needed the support. Midway through my diploma I added another major. I accomplished a double major in five quarters. I received a diploma as a Medical Transcriptionist certificate.

I now work in Chattanooga as a Medical Transcriptionist for Chattanooga Imaging East. I make an adequate salary that enables me to survive and raise my children much better than I did before. I thank everyone who supported me and believed in me. If you want something bad enough you can accomplish anything. Good Luck to everyone. Believe and others will believe in you also.


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