WDRC offering ACCESS

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 27, 2004

The Workforce Development Resource Center hopes its ACCESS program can help young adults begin "opening doors to success."

Ultimately, the goals of the Youth Opportunity Program's initiative are to help youth get a GED, provide pre-employment training with on-the-job experience and help individuals find and maintain employment, said Tricia Damron, youth specialist and transportation coordinator for the WDRC.

"Nowadays, you have to have a high school diploma or GED to become successful in any workforce," she said.

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The ACCESS program includes GED instruction and preparation, pre-employment training, work experience, job placement and retention training, life skills and occupational skills training.

Weekly workshops include pre-employment training, work ethics, communication skills, life skills, computer skills, career exploration and more.

Registration for the program is ongoing. Classes start Feb. 23, 2004. Depending on the level of the students, the GED classes last between four and 15 weeks. The remainder of the time will be used for other parts of the program.

Participants must be between 16 and 21 years old or unemployed adults from the ages of 18 to 21 who are out of school. If the students are under 18, they must obtain a work permit or a release from the school they dropped out of, Damron said.

"For those who were unable to complete their high school education under a structured environment, this will be geared more to one-on-one instruction," she said.

Something that sets this program apart is that students can earn money while they learn several different ways.

Youth will be given on-the-job training in positions that interest them and where they are needed. They can earn $5.15 per hour for up to 375 hours.

Students can also earn $50 per week in incentives for completing a week without being late, missing a day or breaking other guidelines.

They can also receive incentive bonuses for referring other youths to the program and to cover transportation costs. Transpor-tation or other information is available by calling Damron at (740) 532-3140