Aroostook Community Matters: Helping Youth Overcome the Employment Barriers

Published: May. 13, 2022 at 9:08 AM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -A Lack of skills is often a barrier to employment many young job seekers face. In this week’s Aroostook Community Matters, Corey Bouchard takes a look at a Workforce Opportunity program looking to help people get their career on the right track.

Kathy Williams - Program Supervisor - Workforce Innovative Opprotunity Act " So our program, we are really focusing on our out of school youth program with applicants between the ages of 16-24. looking for those folks who dropped out of school, or not dropped out of school but are looking for employment and having a hard time finding employment”

According to Kathy Williams, the Program Supervisor, many young job seekers lack the skills, including soft skills that many employers are looking for. Thats where the Workforce Innovative Opprotunity Act comes in, they will match a potential candidate that might not have all of the skills required, to an employer that is willing to train the candidate and provide work experience. There are many different careers and traning opprotunities in this program for youth in the county.

Kathy” (shortened)The health field, theres tons of jobs in the health field, theres short term training available for those jobs. Theres jobs in the mills, the mills are crying for people. there are just a lot of opprotunity and thats something that we will work with them and provide them every day with look, heres a job thats available today:”

Job Seeking and Training Isn’t the only thing the program provides, Williams says they also support you every step of the way to put you on the right path to success.

Kathy”(shortened)we want you to succeed in your job or your training, if it’s that you need childcare, if you need travel, theres travel allowances, theres money to pay child support. If you get a job and need clothing to go to that job, you might need steel toed boots, you might need a few tools, if youre going to schools for nursing and CNA you need some uniforms, those are the support services we can help you with and provide you with”

Williams adds there are many benefits to employers that participate in this program.

Kathy” we’re paying their salary, we’re paying their workers comp, the only thing the employer is doing is providing supervision on some kind of job that they’re learning.”

If you are a Youth Jobseeker, or an Employer looking to participate in this program, Contact Information will be available on our website. Corey Bouchard, Newssource 8

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