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June 2002 Newsletter

| Northwestern Tech Spotlights GOAL NomineesNorthwest Georgia RESA |
| Pickens Youth at NWGa Youth Summit

Northwestern Tech Spotlights GOAL Nominees
by Diane Mayes

Diane Mayes (center) with GOAL NomineesNorthwestern Technical College’s WIA (Workforce Investment Act) program is honored to have Teresa Carden and Susan Greene as GOAL Nominees.

Teresa Carden is a single mom who needed to be trained in order to support herself and her daughter (Zady). Teresa had worked various jobs, but she always wanted to have a career in the education field. After leaving her last job Teresa decided to return to school and fulfill her dream. She entered the Early Childhood Education program at Northwestern Technical College. She is a current student, is doing her student teaching at Gilbert Elementary, and will be working with the Northwestern Technical College’s summer program for kids.

Susan Greene was in education and had taught for several years, until she was compelled to leave the security of her job and seek another career. Susan decided that computers’ were the way to go. Susan entered Northwestern Technical College’s WEBMASTER program. Susan has just recently completed her program and is working as a Consultant, doing web pages for the Tech Prep program at Northwestern Technical College.

Both these ladies received INDIVIDUAL TRAINING ACCOUNTS from the WIA program to help them get the training they needed. WIA is a federally program that help students by issuing ITA’s (Individual Training Accounts). For more information about the WIA program, please call Diane W. Mayes at 706-764-3562.

Northwest Georgia RESA WIA Youth Apprenticeship Program
by Lynne Reese

Youth apprenticeship began in Georgia in 1994 to prepare high school students with the skills necessary for success in careers. The program incorporates high academic standards with high skill career opportunities – a collaborative effort between employers, schools, labor and government.

Northwest Georgia Regional Education Service Agency (RESA) coordinates apprenticeship efforts in six high schools located in Bartow County, Chattooga County, Dade County, Floyd County, and Polk County. On-site apprenticeship facilitators are located at each high school and are responsible for assisting in recruiting and interviewing students, evaluating job sites and selecting mentors, evaluating student progress and portfolios, and awarding grades. On-site facilitators also maintain attendance and discipline records on each apprentice.

The RESA youth apprenticeship coordinator assists in publicizing the program, career guidance, recruiting and interviewing students, job site recruitment and mentor training. It is the responsibility of the RESA coordinator to "follow" the student for at least one year after high school graduation and document all aspects of the program.

It has been noted in the past two years that numerous students have not been able to participate in youth apprenticeship programs due to financial hardship. Many rising seniors leave school to seek full-time employment in order to assist their families or themselves financially. Additionally, many businesses are willing to participate in apprenticeship but lack funds to pay the youth apprentice.

A grant from the Northwest Georgia Workforce Investment Board enables nine (9) students from Dade and Polk Counties to participate in apprenticeship, connect school-based learning with on-the-job training, associate lifelong learning with career success, and meet SCANS competencies.

Since the RESA coordinator and all on-site facilitators are funded through a Georgia Department of Education grant, no funds for personnel or administration are used. All grant monies are used to pay the students while on the job and provide assistance with the purchase of appropriate work attire, work-related tools, and protective gear.

Students are initially screened at the school site to see if they meet the qualifications for the apprenticeship program. If they do meet the program standards, are economically disadvantaged, and also have any of the barriers to employment, they are referred to Northwest Georgia Regional Development Center (RDC) for an intake interview. Eligible students are then placed in an appropriate apprenticeship site within their career area. They all have a complete training plan with progressively more complex career and skill tasks, integration of basic academic skills into work activities, a mentor at the job site, and are counseled and evaluated by their school on-site facilitator. The work experience includes exposure to various aspects of the industry and the necessary skills for success in the workforce. The worksite experience includes leadership development opportunities, such as: exposure to post-secondary education opportunities; organizational and team work training; employability skills; work behavior training; and leadership in decision making.

Ideally, students are placed in an apprenticeship during the summer before their senior year of high school; remain in the apprenticeship during the entire senior year and summer following graduation. Apprentices have a positive termination when they 1) continue into full-time employment either at the apprenticeship site or a comparable position, 2) enroll and attend classes at a technical school or college, 3) continue into advanced training or another qualified apprenticeship program, or 4) enlist in the military forces. Recruitment for the Fiscal Year 2003 began in April 2002.

All apprentices are "tracked" for at least one year after secondary graduation by the RESA apprenticeship coordinator. This services includes regular contact with the youth in career development and further education, adult mentoring, and leadership development opportunities.

Pickens Youth at NWGa Youth Summit
by Dr. Shelia W. Frances

Pickens youth shown right participating in one of the many activities were among the 45 youth invited to a YOUTH SUMMIT, the first in the State of Georgia. It also was heralded as quite possibly the first in the nation, by Wanda W. Williams, one of the Summit organizers and also, the WIA OJT/Youth Coordinator from the Coosa Valley Regional Development Center. The Youth Summit was held at Floyd College in Rome, Georgia and was attended by approximately 45 youth from the 15 counties that make up Region 1 / Northwest Georgia. The purpose of the Summit was to hear first hand what the youth have to say about things they need to help prepare them for the workforce. Four of Pickens youth were among the participants.

NicholoeNicholoe Tomlinson, a 17-year-old Pickens Junior addresses her peers and the Summit planners. For Nicholoe spending her Saturday at the Summit "…. was very useful because I have so much planned for my future…This summit just helped tie some of the loose ends up….activities helped us think of things that our community could get involved in along with the youth….It was worth a Saturday to spend it learning of new opportunities that might life in my path…I’m a leader and I’ll do whatever it takes to stay a leader." Nicholoe is also a member of the Pickens Youth Leadership program.

Jamie

Jamie Davis, also a 17-year-old Pickens Junior shown participating in one of the activities at the Summit stated that "…thought the day was great. It gives students the chance to interact with other students and express their ideas about school and job training and not just listen to what other people talk about…I would definitely like to do this again sometime." Although a gentle toss in this game, Jamie is an avid baseball player.

Amanda

One of the youngest participants, 12-year-old Amanda Arnold from Pickens Middle School also acted as a group leader and addressed her peers and the adults. Of her Saturday’s experience at the Summit, Amanda had this to say. "I think the First Annual Northwest Georgia Youth Summit was a positive step toward bringing jobs for young people to Pickens County. I feel that the job opportunities for youth will greatly increase because of this program. I also feel that my opinion can contribute to the community through this program."

Maggie

Maggie McCampbell, a 13-year-old from Pickens Middle School shown here expressed these thoughts about her experience at the Summit. "It felt great to attend the First Annual Northwest Georgia Youth Summit. I was extremely surprised as how much they really valued our opinions, and cared about what we wanted to happen. I feel we’re already making a difference in the community."

Co-planners of the Youth Summit included Family Connection, Department of Juvenile Justice, Northwest Georgia Region Board and Coosa Valley Regional Development Center. Loralie Arnold, Case Manager with Pickens County Department of Family & Children Services and Dr. Shelia W. Frances, Pickens County Family Connection Coordinator attended the Youth Summit as adult advisors along with the four Pickens youth.

Pickens County Participants

Youth Summit participants from Pickens County shown above: Jamie Davis, Nichole Tomlinson, Dr. Shelia W. Frances, Maggie McCampbell, Amanda Arnold and Loralie Arnold.

Northwest Georgia Workforce Investment Program

An equal opportunity/affirmative action program of the NW Georgia
Workforce Investment Board  & Coosa Valley/North Georgia Council of Chief Elected Officials.
 A proud partner of America’s Workforce Network
.

Have news of interest to NWGA? Send articles to Karen Howell,
P.O. Box 1793, Rome GA 30162; Vandy88@aol.com; or phone/fax 706.277.7466.

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