The Purpose of the YouthStart Program is to provide workforce investment activities to increase the employment, retention, and earnings of participants and increase occupational skill attainment by participants resulting in an improved quality workforce, reduction in welfare dependency, and enhanced productivity and competitiveness in the region. YouthStart is funded by the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act through a contractual arrangement with Lumber River Council of Governments.
Planning Approach/Design Framework
The intent of the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA) is to move away from one-time, short-term interventions for youth and towards a systematic approach that offers youth a comprehensive set of service strategies and a closer link to the labor market. In addition, the Act requires connections between youth programs and the One-Stop system providing information on the full array of appropriate services that are available to youth.
Who can participate?
- Must be enrolled in a secondary educational program (In School Youth)
- Must be ages 14 to 18 at In-School Youth and 16 to 24 Out of School Youth
- Must be a low income individual as defined in WIOA Policy;
- Is within one or more of the following categories:
- Deficient in basic literacy skills;
- Homeless, runaway or foster child;
- Pregnant or a parenting youth;
- Requires additional assistance to complete an educational program or to secure and maintain employment
Fourteen Program Elements
- Tutoring, study skills training and instruction, leading to completion of secondary school, including dropout prevention strategies.
- Alternative secondary school services as appropriate.
- Summer employment opportunities that are directly linked to academic and occupational learning.
- Paid and unpaid work experiences, including internships and job shadowing.
- Leadership development opportunities, which may include community, service and peer centered activities encouraging responsibility and other positive social behavior during non school hours, as appropriate.
- Supportive services.
- Adult mentoring for the period of participation and a subsequent period for a total of no less than 12 months.
- Follow-up services for no less than 12 months after the completion of participation as appropriate.
- Comprehensive guidance and counseling which may include drug and alcohol abuse counseling and referral as appropriate.
- Occupational Skills Training
- Entrepreneurial Skills Training
- Labor market and employment information
- Activities to help prepare for training and education
- Post Secondary Preparation and Transition Activities
We promote positive social behaviors through:
- Positive attitudinal development
- Self esteem building
- Maintaining healthy lifestyles
- Maintaining a commitment to learning and academic success
- Avoiding delinquency
- Postponed and responsible parenting
- Positive job attitudinal and work skills