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Finding and keeping a job is a key step in a young person’s transition to adulthood and economic self-sufficiency. Employment not only allows young people to cover expenses for themselves and their families. It also provides valuable opportunities for them to apply academic skills and learn occupation-specific as well as general “world of work” skills; such as teamwork, time management, problem-solving, etc. Teen employment (16-19 years) is directly associated with improved employment and earnings later in life as well as myriad other indicators of adult success.
The summer of 2017 marks the fifth year of the Giles County SYWP. Teen students, aged 16-19 are placed in 6-week/192 hour work settings that match their work experience (if any), their interests, aptitudes and their future plans.
The payroll is handled by Goodwill Industries and they also provide liability insurance for the participants. Additionally, Goodwill employs a case manager who is in consistent contact between the SYWP Manager, assigned worker and the worksite. This program is based upon the Workforce Development Act.
The application process begins in the schools at the beginning of March. Each interested student picks up an application form at their school, fills it out and submits it back to the guidance office. Interviews are arranged for each student and conducted by a panel consisting of the Giles School’s Career Counselor, Giles County Combined Services Director, Goodwill/Workforce Manager and the SYWP Manager. Based upon the results of the interviews and further conversation with the various school counselors, each student is then suggested to a specific worksite for placement. In every case, effort is made to place students in a setting that best matches their interests and aptitudes and future plans. Each student is directed to meet with their worksite prior to the program start date in order to better understand the work requirement and to learn whether the placement is a logical fit for both parties.
Prior to the start date, each worker and their parent or guardian is required to attend a mandatory information session. This session confirms program expectations and describes program logistics.
At the end of the six weeks, a Work Readiness Evaluation is completed by the worksite supervisor. This quantifies the workers performance and provides a valuable reference for the worker. Additionally, in September of the following school year, this document is reviewed by the SYWP Program Manager with the Giles School Career Counselor and the Giles Schools Guidance Counselor(s) in order to better assist them in understanding how their students performed, be made aware of any issues that may have arisen and to provide insight into how they may utilize these findings to enhance student success.