Story Behind the Curve
As the COVID-19 pandemic continued to impact workforce trends for this reporting period, the Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland (TCC) remained steadfast in reaching opportunity youth in St. Mary’s County. TCC was able to increase the total amount of youth served for this period despite similar challenges that it experienced for the first reporting period. This increase can be attributed to the dedication that TCC prides itself in finding and providing opportunities for the youth of St. Mary’s County.
Throughout this reporting period, TCC continued to offer employment and workforce education services to youth in St. Mary’s County. These services included weekly job clubs, in which youth are trained on workforce job readiness and soft skills training; basic services, in which youth are offered job counseling, job searching techniques and resume writing skills; and program orientation, in which youth are introduced to the Work-Based Learning (WBL) and Occupational Skills Training (OST) programs implemented by TCC and provided through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (WIOA) funding grant.
As TCC prepares for the upcoming Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP), it is excited about the increase in the number of youths that it will be able to serve for this year’s program. Participants will be able to participate in virtual learning through the 14 Elements platform, work from home placements, or on-site work placements. Upon completion of SYEP, TCC will continue to focus on WBL and OST enrollments to provide workforce services to the opportunity youth in St. Mary’s County.
HFY2 20/Annual: The data for this program was adversely affected by COVID. The contracting process did not allow for the award to made until late February. As the vendor prepared to announce the position, the state went on lock down and the organization went into a hiring freeze because individuals were not allowed to interviewed during that time period. It was not until June that a plan was in place on how to move forward, which was too late to begin recruiting for program in FY20.
The Reconnections program will utilize the support of two full-time “transition navigators” whose role is to provide outreach, identification and case management services which help youth meet educational, career and personal goals, including improving current employment, completion of a high school credential, entering college or career training, or connecting to a local high demand industry, such as hospitality, construction, health care and social assistance, and retail.
During year one of implementation there will focus on two areas: 1) youth already identified through public helping systems, who may include those in high school; those who are experiencing homelessness; who have a disability; who may be pregnant or parenting; or low-income youth who require additional assistance to enter or complete an educational program or to secure or hold employment. 2) Youth residing in Lexington Park, Maryland will be the second area of focus