Lower Savannah SC WORKS in partnering with Eckerd Connects had a Jumpstart Recognition Ceremony honoring youth participants that completed the Summer Jumpstart Program on Aug. 14.
The ceremony recognized high school seniors from three counties: Orangeburg, Calhoun, and Bamberg. The ceremony was held at Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College. WIOA Youth career coaches Shakeia Hampton and Candice Carr made opening remarks and as well served as mentors and facilitated all the services provided to the rising seniors in the program. Andre Anderson, Lower Savannah Workforce Development Administrator, and Karen Bedgood, WIOA Youth Coordinator, awarded the Certificates of Completion as well as $100 incentive checks to the participants that completed the Jumpstart Program for the summer.
Special guests included: Helen Carson, Mayor of St. Matthews; Yolanda Irons, Economic Services Program Coordinator, S.C. Department of Social Services; Lessie B. Price, Lower Savannah Workforce Development board member and Youth Committee chairperson; Barbara Capers, Guidance Counselor, Lake Marion High School, Tuisha Glover, Early Child Coordinator, Bethune-Bowman High School; and Dr. Renee Ritter, director of Orangeburg Calhoun Adult Education and Lower Savannah Workforce Development board member.
The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) is a federally funded program that assists adults, dislocated workers and youth to find full-time employment.
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The WIOA Youth Program is an integral part supporting out-of-school youth with employment and training opportunities as well as assisting in-school youth through the Summer Youth Jumpstart Program.
The Summer Youth Jumpstart Program assists youth with work experiences for rising high school seniors to enhance their employability skills.
The primary purpose of work experience is to provide the trainee with basic work ethic, career exploration and skill development for a six-county region which includes Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Calhoun and Orangeburg counties.
In 2015, the program’s first year, 12 students enrolled from one county and 11 successfully completed. This year is the fourth year and there was a total of 63 rising seniors from all six counties who successfully completed the Jumpstart Program for 2019.
The rising seniors have the opportunity to earn $9.25 an hour for 240 hours. Along with incentives and stipends, students can earn as much as $2,370 for the summer, working at the schools, district offices or other businesses in their community.