Grant will help prepare young workers for new careers

The Sun-Gazette

Tulare County Workforce Investment Board provides $1 million grant to help train, mentor and prepare 18- to 24-year-olds for careers in specialized fields

TULARE COUNTY – College-aged adults have been the hardest hit segment of the workforce since the governor’s order to shut down non-essential sectors of the economy in mid-March. In California, workers ages 20 to 24 represented one-third of unemployment claims through May 9, followed closely by 16- to 19-year-olds who made up 28% of unemployment claims, according to a recent study by the California Policy Lab. Not coincidentally, young workers tend to be employed in the sectors that have been closed such as hospitality, food service and retail.

In order to help those workers find the training they need to move into expanding sectors of the economy, the Tulare County Office of Education (TCOE) will provide a new program focusing on out-of-school youth ages 18 to 24 living in the southern portion of the county, including Porterville, Lindsay, Strathmore, Plainview, Ducor, Richgrove, Poplar, Springville, Terra Bella, and Woodville. The program is being funded through a one-year, $1 million grant from the Tulare County Workforce Investment Board for TCOE’s Services for Education and Employment (SEE).

Students accepted into the programs will receive career and education counseling, work readiness preparation, leadership training, mentoring, job search assistance, scholarship information, and opportunities for paid work experience or vocational training in specialized fields.

The out-of-school youth grant was one of two received from the Workforce Investment Board. An additional $370,000 was awarded to serve in-school youth with disabilities that have an IEP or 504 plan (ages 16 to 21), youth who are justice-involved (ages 16 to 24), and youth at Porterville and Lindsay high schools in career pathways.

Out-of-school and in-school youth are encouraged to contact Linda Patino at [email protected] or 559-733-6730, extension 4321 to determine if they qualify. Youth should leave a detailed message with their name and phone number.

Students who live outside the cities listed above are encouraged to visit the Tulare County Workforce Investment Board web site at www.tularewib.org/for-youth to learn more about youth services available in their community.

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