NC Works and Reaching for the Stars lend helping hand to unemployed young adults

Published 11:27 am Tuesday, May 14, 2024

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NC Works and local nonprofit Reaching for the Stars recently teamed up for an information session geared specifically for young adults between the ages of 16 and 24. NC Works assists job seekers with improving their skills and finding jobs through actual work experiences and on-the-job training. “Our goal is to help the young adults become employable,” said Penny Guilford, the youth career advisor with NC Works’ Next Gen program. “There is a great need out there. Not only for those looking for work but employers looking for people to hire. NC Works serves as a bridge in getting them connected.”

Guilford said there are countless opportunities for job seekers. They can do up to 29 hours per week in a paid work experience for different businesses in the area, with up to 400 hours per job description. She said these experiences help them to build upon their resumes and improve their interviewing skills. “If an employer needs a new employee but is not sure if they will work out, we step in and pay the employee, which allows the employer to see firsthand if they have the skills and ability they are looking for,” said Guilford. “We want to encourage the youth and young adults to sign up for the program and show them that there are opportunities out there and help them to succeed.”

Guilford added that there are also programs available for those interested in studying nursing, law enforcement, computer programming, and boat manufacturing. Depending on the course of study, NC Works will pay for all of their books, tuition, childcare, and transportation. “The program is very beneficial for the community,” said Flora Brooks, founder and director of Reaching for the Stars. “A lot of single parents are suffering right now to make ends meet. It opens the door for an older sibling to bring in some additional money and help with the cost of living. NC Works is also working to provide paid staff to assist me with my summer school program that serves underprivileged, at-risk youth between the ages of 6 through 12. A position that would normally be volunteer only.”

The NC Works program is free of charge. For more information and eligibility requirements reach out to 252-494-9627.