Designed to improve education and employment outcomes for eligible participants ages 16–24.
Clark County – Next Success
Our Clark County youth workforce development programs are housed in Next, the youth one stop center. Next helps young adults ages 16-24 obtain skills, education and vocational training to help them get jobs. Next provides 16-24 year olds, who have dropped out of school, with employment and/or post-secondary education services, intensive case management, employment readiness trainings, career exposure and a three-month work experience in a high-growth, high-demand sector such as manufacturing, healthcare, software or IT.
Students will have opportunities to interact with local employers through mock interviews, job shadows and group tours. At Next, we help young adults aged 16-24 get set for success by providing the holistic support and training they need to create the future they want—all in one place. We provide a safe space where youth can connect and socialize, get something to eat or access health services, and get the education and career help they need. Clark County youth want to succeed in their careers and their lives. That’s why Next offers a place where they can take charge, walk up to opportunity’s door—and kick it wide open.
Youth Workforce Development is funded by Workforce Southwest Washington. Their mission is to provide economic development through a trained and productive workforce in Southwest Washington. To that end, WSW creates partnerships between business and educational organizations, supports training programs and creates a system whereby employers can find qualified employees and employees can find careers at which they will excel.
WSW uses financial resources from the Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act to fund Youth Workforce Development. This federal program supports the mission of both WSW and Youth Workforce Development, which are equal opportunity employers and providers of employment and training services. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.
Connect 2 Careers
Cowlitz County – Connect 2 Careers
As young people finish their high school education and begin thinking about their future, many realize that they lack the skills employers desire. Without skills, youth remain stuck in low paying jobs with very little hope for advancement. Connect 2 Careers is designed to assist young people from Cowlitz County as they begin employment or complete their secondary or post-secondary education.
Our Career Specialists work closely with youth to develop an individual plan, taking into account the youth’s interests, skills and motivation. Most youth remain in the program for 9 to 18 months, gaining additional education through classes, academic support for secondary or post secondary education or training, and real world work experience. Further, the youth gains exposure to multiple careers, communities, businesses, opportunities for leadership development and gains a greater understanding of his/her skills and abilities.
Emphasis and resources are targeted at providing youth the assistance they need to graduate from high school, earn their GED, and/or move on to college or trade school. Participants can also receive job counseling and training, hands-on work experiences, and gain work readiness skills, which are needed for apprenticeship or jobs in high-demand fields such as health care and STEM fields.
What Participants Are Saying
“Getting into this program has had the most amazing effect on my life. If I had not found this program I would have nothing! This program helps pick people right up and put them in the right direction.”
“ESD 112 has helped me a lot throughout the past year. I was assigned a specialist, who has been patient and very caring towards me. She has assisted me in getting my GED which I never thought was going to be possible. The program has helped me accomplish more than I ever could have on my own.”
“C2C helped me gain my C.N.A. certification and find a job in my career path. They’ve helped with a resume and to become more independent. C2C has also helped me with getting financial aid and getting into college.”
“The special STEM program got me so interested in science. I never knew what kinds of careers were possible!”
The SummerWorks program engages with current students who either have an Individualized Education Plan or a 504 plan, and are ages 16-21, in Clark, Cowlitz and Wahkiakum Counties. This engagement will create effective and innovative pathways for students experiencing disabilities to connect to worksite learning, and 21st century skill development.
Students will participate in several levels of programming:
- Workplace Readiness Workshops comprised of resume building, interviewing skills, financial literacy, and leadership development.
- Career exploration activities and job shadowing
- Paid 90-hour work-based learning experience.
Youth Workforce Development Program Staff
Clark County Staff
Cowlitz County Staff
Prevention Programs & Grants
Programs/Grants administered by Prevention and Youth Services include: