Spokane, WA April 21, 2015: The Next Generation Zone has been selected to receive the 2015 Chase Youth Commission’s Champion of Youth Award in the non-profit category. The Next Generation Zone is the only career center in eastern Washington tailored to young adults ages 16-24. The career center was created by the Spokane Area Workforce Development Council in 2007 in response to the increased need to prepare the next generation of our workforce.
The one-of-a-kind career center is operated by Career Path Services, NorthEast Washington Educational Service District 101, Goodwill Industries of the Inland Northwest, Community Colleges of Spokane, and Job Corps. Together, they offer a variety of career preparation tools, including high school and GED completion; career assessments and counseling; job search assistance; industry-recognized credentials and certifications; career readiness workshops; and connections to employers. Business partners work with the Next Generation Zone and provide opportunities for individuals to explore career pathways, make smart decisions about educational choices, and get jobs in our regional economy. It is these partnerships and collaborations that make the Next Generation Zone a true career one-stop center.
In the last year, there have been approximately 3,500 visits to the Next Generation Zone, and students are averaging 1,700 hours each month on the classroom. In the last 5 years, the Next Generation Zone has facilitated over 1,000 internships for young adults in Spokane County. Individuals completing the Next Generation Zone’s employment program are entering jobs at an average of $11.78 an hour, which is 22% over the state minimum wage.
The Chase Youth Commission recognizes annual “Champions of Youth,” with awards given to individuals and groups that provide opportunities for area youth to grow and become empowered community leaders. The Next Generation Zone along with its partner organizations and board will be recognized at the Chase Youth Commission Annual Breakfast of Champions on May 1, 2015.
Media Contact: Jessica Cato, Spokane Area Workforce Development Council, 509-533-8473