Each semester, FloridaWorks partners with local employers to provide youth between the ages of 14 and 21 with valuable work experience. Youth who are trained now will provide for a stronger workforce tomorrow.
Currently, FloridaWorks is in need of 15 work sites to host these young workers and provide them with real-world experience so they may apply their employability skills training. There is no cost to the employer for participating. Salaries and Worker’s Compensation Insurance will be provided for the youth up to 100 hours. FloridaWorks’ staff will serve as liaisons between the employer and the youth to facilitate a mutually beneficial experience. Volunteer to be a youth experience partner today and allow a young person to work at your site in retail sales, customer service and/or office administration.
In addition to paid work experience and employability skills training, FloridaWorks also provides its youth with career and educational guidance, support services, occupational skills training and access to TechQuest, an entrepreneurship and technology training program taught by Santa Fe Center for Innovation and Economic Development (CIED).
Twenty-nine students are expected to graduate TechQuest on March 20. Students receive a Nexxus 7 tablet (Android) upon successful completion of the program. Four TechQuest sessions have been held in Gainesville and one in Starke.
Starke is an area that has a large amount of talent that is untapped because of its geographic location. Due to lack of transportation, many services and opportunities are not within arm’s reach for its residents. Hosting TechQuest in Starke was an opportunity to bring a training program to students in need and a way to grow Bradford County’s talent pool. This investment exposed the next generation to an entrepreneurial mindset with hopes that they will boost Bradford County’s economy with their own innovative ideas.
“It was a great program and class. I liked that we actually did activities in the class. It inspired me to one day start my own business,” states Juanita Carter. “I recommend that other students take the class and actually listen and pay attention. Since TechQuest, I have finished my clinical classes for my CNA license, and I will be able to start working in that field soon.”
Twenty-eight students graduated from Starke’s inaugural TechQuest session four weeks ago. FloridaWorks hopes to reach out to this community again, and has immediate goals to target the Hawthorne community.
For questions or to learn more about the WIA Youth program, contact Keira Simmonds at 352.244.5921 or Florence Jenkins at 904.964.8092.
FloridaWorks is an equal opportunity employer/program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities. All voice telephone numbers may be reached by persons using TTY/TDD equipment via the Florida Relay Service at 711.