Timari Fears, a 2012 Newton County High School graduate, spent five weeks this summer working at the city of Porterdale. This opportunity was made possible by the Workforce Investment Act In-School Youth Program. Fears worked as an assistant to the city and court clerk of the city of Porterdale. Fears developed new skills, including effective interaction with the public and co-workers, presenting herself professionally in a government office, and valuable organizational skills.
The WIA program, administered by the Northeast Georgia Regional Commission under the oversight of the Northeast Georgia Workforce Investment Board, includes youth in a 12-county area in Barrow, Clarke, Elbert, Greene, Jackson, Jasper, Madison, Morgan, Newton, Oconee, Oglethorpe and Walton Counties.
To qualify, these youth must meet income eligibility requirements and have at least one other barrier including not on schedule to graduate on time, teen parent, basic skills deficient, etc. Throughout the 12-county area, 143 youth worked at local government and nonprofit agencies this summer. The youth worked up to five weeks and up to 30 hours per week. They were paid minimum wage through the WIA. The program continues throughout the school year where the students work with case managers who ensure they are on track in school with grades, attendance, and behavior. The youth also attend workshops that help them with money management, leadership, work skills and career pathways.
With Georgia having one of the highest teen unemployment rates in the country, the experience these youth gained would likely have not been possible without the WIA Program.
Fears has enrolled in the U.S. Marine Corps, and is interested in the criminal justice field. WIA has provided her with real world experience and practical skills to add to her resume as she prepares for the future.
For further information on WIA services for youth, adult, or dislocated workers, please contact the Northeast Georgia Regional Commission's Workforce Development division at (706) 369-5703.