by WJ on Aug 17, 2017 at 11:14 AM

On August 10, 2017 staff from the Little Rock Workforce Development Board (LRWDB) and Arbor E&T hosted youth participants at a PROMISE Grant program celebration at Dave and Buster’s. Presentation of the Diane Tucker Outstanding Youth Award to Isaiah Scott and PROMISE Outstanding Leadership Awards – to Tevon Wren and Alaya Lewis– served as highlights of the celebration.

Of the 57 participants placed in employment, 30 completed all of the 200 allowable work hours and another 9 participants are expected to compelte 200 hours by September 30.

The PROMISE summer program resulted in many youth success stories, including:

Isaiah Scott, Little Rock, AR

Isaiah Scott epitomizes the type of determination that made him the first PROMISE participant to complete 200 hours during his summer work experience. He never missed a day of work and was always on time at the Ronald L. Davis Law Firm, where he gained valuable knowledge of the legal system. Isaiah's dedication to hard work helped him win the Diane Tucker Outstanding Youth Award for 2017.

Tevon Wren, 18, Little Rock, AR

Tevon completed his hours at the Little Rock Wastewater, where he was able to experience different aspects of the Wastewater business. Tevon really enjoyed his summer work experience  and has potential to be hired if a position that fits his interests becomes available. He is currently planning to attend Pulaski Technical College.

M’Ashunti Hood, 15, Little Rock, AR

Even though she started slightly after the start date, M’Ashunti was one of the first to have completed 200 hours of employment. Feedback from co-workers at the Family Development Center at Catherine’s House indicated that she was a pleasure to have at the work site. M’Ashunti has a strong work ethic and is heading in the right direction to be successful.

Alaya Lewis, 17, Little Rock, AR

Although shy at first, Alaya is a young lady with enthusiasm and compassion. She is a 17-year-old upcoming senior at Little Rock Central High School and cannot wait to enjoy chemistry…. books and boys alike. This year Alaya displayed her hard work and dedication during her work experience with the Sammie Gail Sanders Children’s Learning Center in North Little Rock. Her direct supervisor was very impressed with the work Alaya accomplished. Her goals this year are to: attain good grades, learn how to draft a resume, and apply for her first job.

Rodney Cooper, 178 Little Rock, AR

Rodney is no stranger to hard work. During the summer he not only participated in the PROMISE Work Experience but was already employed. Rodney unfortunately did not win one of the top awards but was recognized for a separate accomplishment. Rodney was employed with Big Rock Mini Golf and Fun Park this summer and was offered a position. Rodney is a graduate of Parkview High school and is currently enrolled at Pulaski Technical College. He is definitely A+mazing! 

The LRWDB began its partnership with the Arkansas PROMISE Grant consortium in January 2015 to operate a summer youth work experience program to run in concert with the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP).

PROMISE—Promoting Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income—is a joint initiative of the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the U.S. Departments of Education (ED), Health and Human Services, and Labor. Arkansas was selected as one of six programs nationally to promote positive changes in education and employment outcomes for the target population. AR PROMISE provided innovative educational, vocational, and other services to youth SSI recipients, age 14 to 16, and their families.


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by WJ on Jun 23, 2017 at 11:11 AM

On May 31, the Little Rock Workforce Development Board  (LRWDB) hosted a three-day Workplace Skills Orientation for participants in Little Rock’s Arkansas Promise work readiness initiative and their job coaches. Key topics in the Be Successful at Work workshop included: dress for success, workplace communication, conflict resolution, and  bullying and sexual harassment. Volunteer instructors from organizations like the Human Resource Management Association of Arkansas (HRMA) contributed their time and  expertise to provide information in these critical areas.

The LRWDB began its partnership with the Arkansas PROMISE Grant consortium in January 2015 to operate a summer youth work experience program to run in concert with the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP.) The majority of participants and employers reported have reported positive experiences with this effort. As one employer stated:

“We have been a part of the work program for over two years and love it.  It's a wonderful program for any business to be a part of!  The worker gains knowledge and experience and the business is able to have additional help.  It's a great program and we're fortunate to be a part of it!” – Angela Bennett, All About Staffing, Inc.

PROMISE—Promoting Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income—is a joint initiative of the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the U.S. Departments of Education (ED), Health and Human Services, and Labor. Arkansas was selected as one of six programs nationally to promote positive changes in education and employment outcomes for the target population. Arkansas PROMISE provides innovative educational, vocational, and other services to youth SSI recipients, age 14 to 16, and their families.

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by WJ on Jun 23, 2017 at 10:19 AM

On May 31, the Little Rock Workforce Development Board  (LRWDB) hosted a three-day Workplace Skills Orientation for participants in Little Rock’s Arkansas Promise work readiness initiative and their job coaches. Key topics in the Be Successful at Work workshop included: dress for success, workplace communication, conflict resolution, and  bullying and sexual harassment. Volunteer instructors from organizations like the Human Resource Management Association of Arkansas (HRMA) contributed their time and  expertise to provide information in these critical areas.

The LRWDB began its partnership with the Arkansas PROMISE Grant consortium in January 2015 to operate a summer youth work experience program to run in concert with the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP.) The majority of participants and employers reported have reported positive experiences with this effort. As one employer stated:

“We have been a part of the work program for over two years and love it.  It's a wonderful program for any business to be a part of!  The worker gains knowledge and experience and the business is able to have additional help.  It's a great program and we're fortunate to be a part of it!” – Angela Bennett, All About Staffing, Inc.

PROMISE—Promoting Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income—is a joint initiative of the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the U.S. Departments of Education (ED), Health and Human Services, and Labor. Arkansas was selected as one of six programs nationally to promote positive changes in education and employment outcomes for the target population. Arkansas PROMISE provides innovative educational, vocational, and other services to youth SSI recipients, age 14 to 16, and their families.

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by WJ on Jun 19, 2017 at 4:35 PM

The host of Speak Up Arkansas, Paul Kelly, recently highlighted the topic of workforce development as part of his regular broadcast on  KABF 88.3 FM, “The Voice of the People.” Speak Up Arkansas is underwritten by Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families. The talk radio show is dedicated to covering issues like health care, education, juvenile justice, the state budget, and family and economic security.

The Executive Director of the Little Rock Workforce Development Board, W. J. Monagle, participated in a panel discussion  with three other local workforce development leaders: Randy Zook, President and CEO of the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce; Roger Rich, Superintendent of Southside Schools; and Cindy Varner, Vice President of Workforce Development with Goodwill of Arkansas.

Panel members discussed economic trends that affect workforce development, programs that address the needs of job seekers and employers, and community partnerships that drive success in vocational training and sustainable employment.

Economic Trends

Less than 40 years ago, nearly 75% of jobs in the United States could be filled by workers with no more than a high school education in industries like manufacturing, farming, mining, transportation, and construction. By 2022, the U. S. will lack 11 million workers with postsecondary degrees, certificates, or credentials to meet job demands. Arkansas has significant workforce development needs to assist adults over 25 with no college degree, especially as aging workers retire.

Program “Success Stories”

The Little Rock Workforce Development Board coordinates programs for adults, youth and dislocated workers through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) as well grant-funded programs like YouthBuild, which helps at risk youth obtain a G. E. D. and vocation training. Southside Schools sponsors Project Future Story, which exposes students to career possibilities that match their interests from “pre-K through career.” Goodwill of Arkansas is launching a charter school for adults without a high school diploma in addition to regular career center offerings like resume writing and interview preparation.

Community Partnerships

Partnerships across local communities are required to help individuals overcome barriers to find and sustain employment. A viable network of employment and job-driven training programs includes roles for business, government, non-profits, and other community entities to promote economic sustainability.

To listen to the radio broadcast in its entirety, you may download the mp3 file by clicking here:  Speak Up Arkansas.mp3

 

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by WJ on Feb 10, 2017 at 10:30 AM

The Little Rock YouthBuild program is underway for 2017!

If you’re interested in an exciting career- and life-building experience, come to the Arkansas Workforce Center at Little Rock during the week of February 6 or February 13 and check out Mental Toughness!

The Mental Toughness phase of the program is a key milestone in identifying youth who will become part of the first of two YouthBuild cohorts planned for this year. Mental Toughness activities include:

·        Introductions to career options from actual practitioners

·       Personal assessments

·       Trust and team-building exercises

·       Leadership styles

·       Physical exercise

YouthBuild is part of the Little Rock Workforce Development Board’s (LRWDB) ongoing efforts to help youth in acquiring a GED and industry recognized and accredited certifications in in-demand career pathways like:

·        Construction

·        Industrial equipment technology

·        Home caregiver

·        Certified nursing assistant

·        Commercial truck driving

For more information on the Little Rock YouthBuild program, please contact:

Melissa Mitchell

YouthBuild Program Director

Arkansas Workforce Center at Little Rock

5401 S. University Ave.
Little Rock, AR 72209

501.320.3057  Office

501.319.4592 Cell

501.537.0729 Fax

 

 

 

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by WJ on Nov 4, 2016 at 10:47 AM

The Little Rock Workforce Development Board’s Executive Director, W. J. Monagle, is serving as host and point of contact for the U.S. State Department’s Professional Fellows program. The program is operated in Little Rock through a group called Global Ties Arkansas.

Mr. Seymur Valiyev from Azerbaijan is visiting Little Rock from October 18th through November 14.th  He is an up and coming young professional in the field of youth development. He has attended local meetings and participated in job shadowing activities with local youth development professionals. Mr. Valiyev currently serves as Chairperson to the Bridge to the Future Youth Public Union, a national NGO established in April 2000 by youth initiative. The organization assists in the active participation of Azerbaijan’s youth, establishment of a healthy civil society, and youth representation of Azerbaijan on an international level. You may view his full bio here: Seymur Valiyev Bio.pdf (141.41 kb).

Mr. Monagle and the LRWDB are pleased to have introduced our visiting Fellow to initiatives that organizations within the City of Little Rock and immediate region have made toward youth development. We also appreciate the opportunity to learn about youth development efforts in Azerbaijan and around the world through the experiences of individuals like Seymur Valiyev. Thank you to all who make the U.S. State Department’s Professional Fellows program a success!

 

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by WJ on Oct 4, 2016 at 3:46 PM

On August 9, 2016 staff from the Little Rock Workforce Development Board (LRWDB) and Arbor E&T hosted 100 participants at a PROMISE Grant program celebration at Playtime Pizza. The event also served as an award ceremony to recognize the achievements of participants during summer work experiences. Of the 51 participants placed in employment, 31 completed all of the 200 allowable work hours, another 14 completed at least 100 hours, and six continue to work for local employers following their summer employment experience.

Presentation of the Diane Tucker Award – to Tatyuana Wilson – served as a highlight of the celebration. Tatyana brought her ambition and willingness to learn and grow to the Arkansas PROMISE work experience this past summer. Tatyuana, who worked this year at Metro Vocational Technical College, was an exemplary student and worker. She gained an in-depth knowledge of computer maintenance and repair through hands-on projects like building a laptop from scratch. She was on time every day and ready to work and learn. She impressed her worksite supervisor, Mr. David Crawford, so much that, as the summer drew to a close, he offered her a position at Metro Vo-Tech where he teaches. He believes that Tatyuana is passionate about computers and has a desire to be successful. Her passion not only set her apart from other PROMISE participants but provided a professional foundation that will last a lifetime.

The LRWDB began its partnership with the Arkansas PROMISE Grant consortium in January 2015 to operate a summer youth work experience program to run in concert with the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP).


 

 

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by WJ on Sep 16, 2016 at 11:30 AM

On September 7, representatives from Detroit, Philadelphia, and Little Rock met at the new Tendaji Youth Center on the campus of St. Mark Baptist Church to share and learn about My Brother’s Keeper initiatives in urban areas across the United States. The My Brother’s Keeper Alliance is an initiative of President Obama to engage successful public and private policy programs aimed at lifting up boys and men of color. The local meeting was sponsored by the Boys & Men Opportunity Success Team (BMOST) Coalition, whose goal is to unite boys and men of color with meaningful adult relationships, mentoring and tutoring, positive role models, and service to the community.

 

City of Little Rock Mayor, Mark Stodola, participated in the panel with an aim toward developing public policies conducive to lifting up males of color, establishing vision and strategy for addressing this issue, and scaling programs up to meet the needs of this population. LRWDB Executive Director, W. J. Monagle, and YouthBuild Program Director, Melissa Mitchell, were in attendance to discuss the Little Rock YouthBuild program, which aligns with the My Brother’s Keeper job-driven training agenda. YouthBuild provides a "stepping stone" approach, promoting a seamless progression from education to work-based training and good paying jobs for young adults. The community-based nature of YouthBuild grants ensures that services are provided where they are needed most and are intended to reach the hardest to serve youth.

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by WJ on Mar 21, 2016 at 7:53 PM

The LRWDB celebrates the Summer Youth Employment experience of Dorian Shavis and Cromwell Architecture and Engineering as part of the PROMISE project!

Dorian Shavis spent three days a week at Cromwell’s offices in Little Rock, learning about different aspects of the architecture industry and proper office etiquette. Cromwell gave him the opportunity to work with Habitat for Humanity and design a home that will be refurbished near his school. Dorian’s colleagues at the architectural firm also considered the summer experience to be a boost to office morale during a period of tight deadlines.

The PROMISE (Promoting Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income) project relies on multiple partner agencies to operate. This past summer, the Arkansas PROMISE project paid for the work experiences of nearly 300 teenagers with disabilities, with a goal of matching the teens' interests to their jobs.

Click here to learn more about Dorian’s PROMISE experience: Video – Cromwell Architects – Little Rock, AR

 

 

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by WJ on Jan 11, 2016 at 1:06 PM

The LRWDB is proud that Ms. Ana Rodriquez is a participant in the YouthBuild Little Rock program. She is currently working on her GED and plans to pursue one of the career paths offered through the YouthBuild experience.

Ana’s success is made possible by YouthBuild’s partnership with Immerse Arkansas, a non-profit partner that makes a place to belong for youth who are homeless or aging out of foster care.

Click here to hear Ana share her story of transformation over the past few years:

If you would like to help amazing young people like Ana, click here to make a donation or mail a check to Immerse Arkansas, PO Box 45385, LR, AR 72214.

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