Jasmine Hernandez, a junior at Winder-Barrow High School, spent five weeks this summer discovering the responsibilities and benefits that come with being employed.
The opportunity was made possible by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) High-School Youth Program. Hernandez worked as a library assistant at the Winder Public Library, giving her experience in interacting with the clients and her co-workers, according to a news release.
“Jasmine developed valuable organizational and communication skills, as well as an understanding of what it means to be employed,” program leaders said.
The WIOA program, administered by the Northeast Georgia Regional Commission under the oversight of the Northeast Georgia Workforce Development Board, includes youth in a 12-county area in Barrow, Clarke, Elbert, Greene, Jackson, Jasper, Madison, Morgan, Newton, Oconee, Oglethorpe, and Walton counties.
To qualify, youth must meet income eligibility requirements and have at least one other barrier. Throughout the 12-county area, 88 youth worked at local government worksites, non-profit agencies and some private sector businesses this summer, according to the release. The youth worked up to five weeks and up to 30 hours per week. They were paid through the WIOA.
The program, administered by ACTION, Inc., continues throughout the school year where the students work with career coaches who ensure they are on track in school with grades, attendance and behavior. The youth also attend workshops that help them with money management, leadership, work skills and career pathways, the release said.
“With Georgia having one of the highest teen unemployment rates in the country, the experience these youth gained would likely have not been possible without the WIOA Program,” leaders said. “Jasmine and the other youth who participated in the WIOA Summer Youth Work Experience developed practical skills that will benefit the students and their communities in the future.”
For further information on WIOA services for youth, adult or dislocated workers, contact the Northeast Georgia Regional Commission’s Workforce Development division at 706-369-5703.