The Lehigh Valley Workforce Development Board Youth Development program is overseen by the Lehigh Valley Workforce Development Board and its Youth CareerFORCE Committee. In general, the youth programs are designed to offer the neediest youth with opportunities to successfully transition to adult roles and responsibilities. The emphasis has been on teaching academic and employability skills to youth who might otherwise not have an opportunity to succeed academically or vocationally. The youth service providers work with various agencies to recruit the neediest youth who may be out-of-school, homeless, aging out of foster care, offenders, disabled, and other at-risk youth. The Youth CareerFORCE Committee has a proactive vision of creating a seamless system that ensures all youth transition successfully from school to advanced training to work.
The Youth CareerFORCE Committee continues to develop a strategy for providing comprehensive services for in and out-of-school youth, that address local needs and considers availability of local resources. The activities include: the objective assessment of each youth; the development of individual services strategies; the delivery of services which prepare youth for postsecondary educational opportunities; linking academic and occupational learning; preparing youth for employment; and providing connections to intermediary organizations linked to the job market and employers.
The Youth CareerFORCE Committee offers youth employment opportunities for in-school and out-of-school that link academic and occupational learning, and provide other elements and strategies as appropriate to serve the needs and goals of the participants. The youth employment opportunities are integrated with a comprehensive strategy for addressing the youth's employment and training needs. Youth who participate in the program receive, at a minimum, twelve months follow-up services. The employment opportunity also provides planned, structured work experiences that take place in a workplace for a limited period of time. Depending on the needs of the participant, work experiences may be paid or unpaid. Work experience workplaces are in the private; for-profit sector; the non-profit sector; or the public sector. These experiences enable youth to gain exposure to the working world and its requirements. Youth are able to acquire the personal attributes, knowledge, and skills needed to obtain a job and advance in employment.
The Youth CareerFORCE Committee also links youth programming to high priority occupations (HPO) and cluster groupings. The Youth CareerFORCE Committee understands that to be truly successful in creating a youth system, there must be partnerships between businesses, schools, support groups, and other agencies in the process. It is always a priority of the Youth CareerFORCE Committee to reconnect disconnected youth to career pathways and education. Youth are assessed as they enter the program. Training is provided as needed for work readiness and advanced skills. In addition, youth may be set up in a work experience such as an internship or on-the-job training. While youth programs are always linked to HPO lists and cluster activities, this becomes even more crucial in the economic downturn. Therefore, youth are given experiences that will enhance their success in the job market.
Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.
Equal Opportunity Employer/Program