The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act's Summer Youth Work Experience contracted through Southside Virginia Community College held a closing luncheon and awards ceremony on July 29, 2016 at the John H. Daniel Campus in Keysville. Guest speakers included Edward DeJesus, motivational speaker and author of “Makin’ It”: The Hip-Hop Guide to True Survival. Other speakers included Joseph Ashley, Assistant Commissioner of Grants and Special Programs for the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services, and Dr. Rick Mitchell, Deputy Director of the Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired.
For the program, participants are matched with an employer in their area to do a four to eight week paid work experience.
According to Christin Jackson, Coordinator of the WIOA Adult and Your Programs for SVCC, “There were 19 employers that worked with our 41 participants this summer. Each week, the WIOA Case Managers (Suzanne Lawson, Monica McMillan, D'Elia Gafford, and part-time assistant case manager Julia McInturf) taught the employment soft skills class created by the NCCER called Tools for Success. Successful participants in this class received a certificate for completion to put with their resume that included their employment skills such as resume writing, interview skills, working as a team, conflict management, thinking outside the box, sexual harassment awareness, etc.”
The students were also offered the opportunity to take the Career Readiness Certificate (CRC) Assessment. A total of 14 took the CRC Assessment and the results were: 1 - Gold, 2 - Silvers, and 6 Bronze Certificates.
This year for the Work Experience SVCC and WIOA partnered with DARS (Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services) in a Career Pathways for Individuals with Disabilities (CPID) Grant to put on three Dream It Do It Academies. This enabled all 41 participants to experience an academy. The first academy was taught by Vincent Brown and was a Robotics/Drones Academy where the students built robots and flew drones and were able to take aerial photos and videos. These students also toured UAV Pro, a drone manufacturer in Blackstone. The second academy was taught by Scott Edmonds and was a 3-D Imaging Academy and the students designed marketing tools for various companies using AutoCad. They were able to print their designs using 3-D printers. They created a portfolio of their work and they were able to tour Cardinal Homes, Inc. of Wylliesburg to see 3-D imaging that is used in creating homes. The last academy was Welding taught by Fernandez Bruce. The students worked as a team to create two beautiful drafting tables. Also, individually the students designed and created a fireplace poker and shovel. These students toured Slap Nasty Custom Designs of South Boston. All of the academy participants got to tour Dollar General Distributing in South Boston to see what happens to products after manufacturing.
“At the finale on July 29th, the employers were awarded certificates of appreciation for their participation in the program. The students were given portfolio's with their resume, a letter of reference from their employer, their CRC Certificate, their Dream It Do It Certificate and their Tools for Success Certificate to ensure that along with the valuable work experience, they would be prepared for interviews,” said Jackson.
The 2016 Summer Work Experience Employers are Virginia Cooperative Extension Office (4-H0 in Charlotte Court House, Charlotte County Treasurer’s Office in Charlotte Court House, Ellis Acres Memorial park, Dillwyn, Southside Virginia Community College Buildings and Grounds, Keysville, Southside Virginia Community College Student Services Office, Keysville, Randolph-Henry High School office in Charlotte Court House, South Boston and Halifax County Museum in South Boston, The Prizery in South Boston, The Prissy Hippie Beauty Shop, South Hill, Central Middle School, Charlotte Court House, YMCA, Farmville, @Work Personnel Services, Farmville, Farmville-Prince Edward Community Library, Farmville, Central High School, Victoria, South Hill Workforce Center, South Hill, Estes Community Center, Chase City, Butler Memorial Library, Chase City, Life Changing Community Development, Blackstone, Chase City Rescue Squad in Chase City.