Deadline nearing for summer job program

Youths in Richmond and Burke counties have until Fri­day to take advantage of a summer employment program


funded by the federal stimulus package.

The stimulus plan distributed $1 million to the Richmond/Burke Job Training Authority’s Summer Youth Employment Training Program, said acting Director Al Chandler.

Residents ages 14 to 24 are encouraged to apply at their high schools and Goodwill’s South Au­gusta One Stop Career Center on Peach Orchard Road, Mr. Chandler said.

“It’s always helped our youth, but with the funds we’ll be able to serve so many more,” he said. “It’s far better to invest in the youth now than to invest in them through the juvenile justice system.”

The funds will help place between 300 and 400 young people at Augusta city offices, Paine College and non profit organizations in the area.

The program began more than 20 years ago, and only about 50 youths ages 14 to 21 were served then each summer, Mr. Chandler said.

Extending the age range and adding money to the program will benefit the community, said Richmond County Board of Edu­cation member Joe Scott.

“There’s no employment out here, and with the economy the way it is, young people will have even less opportunities,” he said. “We get them employed, and they’ll turn right around and spend it, which is good for our local economy.”

The eight-week program offers youths the opportunity to earn their GED, receive truck driving and Certified Nursing Assistant training and pick up other skills that will prepare them for the work force.

Last year, more than 87 percent of participants 18 and older remained employed for at least six months, according to the program’s quarterly report.

Candice Lester, an Augusta Tech­nical College junior, said getting involved with the program at age 14 led her to pursue a college degree.

“At the time, I was just thinking about buying my own things and not depending on anybody,” said Ms. Lester, who plans to become a nurse. “After getting the

training and help with writing résumés, it kind of helped

me figure out what I wanted to do.”


Want to apply?

Who: Youth ages 14 to 24 with economic and/or academic disadvantages; placement based on family income

Where: Applications are available at high schools in Burke and Richmond counties and Goodwill’s South Augusta One Stop Career Center, at 3120 Peach Orchard Road

Deadline: Friday

For more information: Contact Richmond/Burke Job Training Authority at (706) 721-1858 .



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