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In January 2014, our Outreach and Education Services Department launched a new program funded by the Department of Labor, Face Forward. The goal of the new program is to help improve the long-term employment prospects of youth in the juvenile justice system. The program serves youth between the ages of 16 – 24, who had a juvenile offense when they were under the age of 18, by helping the youth continue their education and find gainful employment. “The whole purpose of the program is to prevent youth from entering into the adult justice system. The goal is for them to become employable, and to help them move beyond their juvenile offense. This program will empower them to become successful adults,” shares Tyresha Robinson, Case Planning Services Manager of Face Forward.
Face Forward will reach these goals by working with the youth in a variety of ways. First, the program will provide individual case management services to its participants. These sessions will help the youth with goal setting, education and employment, obtaining a driver’s license and housing if necessary, and assist them to reunite with their family.
The second component of the program is to connect youth with vital resources. Primarily, staff members will help link the youth with GED classes and testing, as well as job placement. In addition to this, participants will receive help exploring their career options through job certification programs. Youth will be able to explore different careers by attending trainings in the following fields: customer service, computer network technology, global logistics and dispatch, nursing, commercial driving, and more. After completing training, the participants will receive a certification, which will improve their chances of finding sustainable employment.