Partnering to remove workforce barriers for high school students in Appalachia
Lee County Area Technology Center and Americans Helping Americans are partnering together to help secondary students have a smoother transition into the workforce.
Americans Helping Americans awarded a $20,000 grant to Lee County Area Technology
Center to support “Working through Barriers to Promote Successful Transition into
a High-Wage Career for Students in the Central Appalachian Region.”
Through this partnership, Lee County Area Technology Center and Americans Helping Americans provide assistance to high school students who want to work in high-demand, high-wage careers.
As a kickoff event to this partnership, Lee County Area Technology Center hosted a Career and Community Open House event on August 4th. The event was not the typical back-to-school event but provided a holistic focus on improving the community and using partnerships that the Lee County Area Technology Center has already fostered to build interest for students, parents, employers and other community stakeholders.
Employers recruited students to work for them upon graduation in high-demand, high-wage jobs. These employers were also recruiting those who are already out of high school and may have been for some time. Representatives from Workforce with Hazard Community and Technical College attended to provide options for short-term training that help the unemployed and underemployed to get a better job that provides a living wage.
Community support organizations were also on hand to inform and aid those seeking to better their situation. They shared ways to get the training needed for little or possibly no cost.
Lee County Area Technology Center plans to use the Americans Helping Americans grant funds to purchase tools, clothing and personal items needed for the students to continue in their chosen career path.
Healthcare students will receive scrubs and shoes needed for employment. Automotive students will receive new textbooks along with tools students take with them upon graduation.
Construction and welding students will receive tools and personal protective equipment to keep them safe in school and on the job.
Grant funds will also be used to start a mentor program between employers and students to build employment capacity with apprenticeship opportunities.