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The SAWDC Awarded Grant from Governor's YouthWorks Initiative

December 02, 2014

Spokane, WA December 2, 2014: The Spokane Area Workforce Development Council (SAWDC) has received a state-awarded grant entitled “YouthWorks” in the amount of $147,000 to be implemented this winter through multiple partnerships. The grant provides Opportunity Youth (youth who are out-of-school and out-of-work) with access to a dedicated College and Career Navigator, increased access to training and education opportunities, internships, industry mentors, and wrap-around services such as bus passes and work supplies.

The YouthWorks grant has been awarded following a successful pilot program called “Career Readiness for Working Washington,” that was awarded to the communities of Renton, Spokane, Vancouver, Wenatchee and Yelm.

The SAWDC will oversee partnerships with Spokane Public Schools, the Next Generation Zone and the NorthEast Washington Education Service District’s (NEW ESD 101) “Open Doors” program.

CEO of the SAWDC, Mark Mattke said, “This grant award will provide us with additional capacity to strengthen the collaboration and connectivity between key players in our local workforce system, specifically local businesses, non-profits, training and education providers, and our future workforce. Investments like this harbor real potential to help our community close the opportunity gap, level the playing field, and develop the skills of our young adults so they can compete for in-demand jobs that pay a good wage, support the growth of industry, and help advance our regional economy.”

The Next Generation Zone, located next to WorkSource Spokane and serving Opportunity Youth, will receive funding for a full-time College and Career Navigator who will guide young adults to develop a career goal and pursue a pathway of relevant opportunities that leads to fulfillment of this goal. Typically, pathways lead into high-demand careers that pay self-sufficient wages in the Spokane region. The navigator will work with high school drop-outs to re-engage them to complete their high school education while connecting to opportunities for post-secondary training and education, internships and mentoring.

Trina Clayeux, director of the Center for Future Pathways at the Next Generation Zone said, “YouthWorks Spokane will enable us to more fully develop a business mentorship component that complements the 21st century employment skills training that we already offer. These mentors will not only coach and counsel young adults entering the workforce but also address the affective elements of work - such as building trust, dealing with frustration, and handling disappointment - that will serve them well beyond their first job.”

The grant will support these activities through the summer of 2016 and will impact an estimated 600 young adults. Success will be measured by new business mentorships, internships and the percentage of participants who enter post-secondary education or find employment through YouthWorks activities.

 

Contact: Mark Mattke, CEO Spokane Area Workforce Development Council
Cell Phone: (509) 209-7492 | Phone: (509) 533-8470 | Email:  mmattke@wdcspokane.com


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