Provide the emerging workforce with adequate career guidance that leads to a successful school-to-work transition.
A. Meet with officials at the State and Federal level to discuss ways to better address the needs of youth in the community that move beyond the current limitations of age 14 and older and the categories of in-school and out-of-school youth.
- Use TANF funding to focus on young people under the age of 14 whenever possible.
B. Assure that all skill and career path materials developed in the sector strategy outlined above have a well-defined linkage with regard to skill development that reaches back into school curricula and that those connections are regularly discussed with curriculum planners, school guidance counselors, and parents.
- Immediately pursue funding for the production of multi-media resources that would illustrate examples of "gold-collar' jobs in Lancaster County and distribute those to schools and other community resources around the County.
- Meet annually with school counselors to share information through seminars and worksite visits.
- Develop programs that reach back into the early elementary years to integrate career development into curriculum.
- Gather and maintain a database reflecting opportunities for student involvement with business that can be accessed by teachers and counselors in need of resources.
- Explore and implement ways to reach out to parents to share information related to careers and the education required to access them.
C. Make the Lancaster County Workforce Development Board's Youth Council the premier venue for career resources and information dissemination;
- Annually, brief every school superintendent in the County on the work and priorities of the Board.
- Distribute career awareness information to non-educational institutions such as churches and community based organizations serving youth.
- Offer training to employers that addresses the needs of young and first time workers. Include discussions of what kind of work youth are able to perform, as well as the value of establishing career ladders.
- Explore the possibility of a youth employability program. Find out what employers need in order to hire youth, especially those age 14 and 15.
- Provide Career Exploration information to parents of youth, possibly during 8th grade course selection and/or coordinate a parent career fair (W). -Pathways to Gold Collar Career Night for Parents, College and Tech Night.
- Explore training and employment transportation needs for youth in outlying areas of the county.
- Develop all resource materials in Spanish.
D. Make the PA CareerLink® of Lancaster County the premier venue for career counseling and education in the County;
- Offer within the PA CareerLink® a sliding scale, fee-for-service career planning module for young people and their parents who are planning for education after high school;
E. Be a strong voice in the County advocating programs that would reduce the dropout rate within the area;
- Consult with the School District of Lancaster and be prepared to assist in the development of business-school building partnerships oriented to reducing the dropout rate and improving attendance;
- Consult with the Partnership Charter School and be prepared to assist in the development of business-school building partnerships oriented to reducing the dropout rate and improving attendance;
- Advocate for improving the dropout rate being a priority for the business and economic development community;
- Explore the possibility of a business-sponsored media campaign that supports completing school.
F. Position the Youth Council to be responsive to the expected changes to the Workforce Investment Act, Common Measures and reduced funding;
- Develop program models which reflect emphasis on out-of-school youth which also meet the revisions necessary when Common Measures are implemented.
- Work with districts to identify seriously at-risk youth who are on the verge of dropping out of school. Explore ways to consider these youth out-of-school so they can access services.
- Look for non-WIA sources of funding to continue to serve in-school, at-risk youth and potential dropouts.
- Offer short-term credentialed programs such as food safety, forklift operator, and other industry-specific training that will lead to employment. Identify other short-term training that tie into the industry clusters.
- Education and Guidance provided through Funding requirements.