More than 75 friends, family, and supporters gathered at the Trident One Stop Career Center to congratulate and share in the accomplishments of 30 young people who graduated from the Palmetto Youth Connections (PYC) program, funded by the Trident Workforce Investment Board.
Kal Kunkel, Regional Director of Henkels and McCoy who oversee the program, and Paul L. Connerty, Executive Director of the Trident Workforce Investment Board (TWIB), welcomed attendees and congratulated the graduates on their accomplishments. “You have exceeded our expectations,” said Connerty who also acknowledged the importance of the graduates’ family support and encouraged the graduates to “avail themselves of all the opportunities available to you to advance your careers.”
Calling the graduates “noteworthy honorees’, Margaret Rush, Program Manager, Disadvantaged Business Program for Charleston County Roadwise, gave an inspirational speech that encouraged the graduates to become tomorrow’s leaders. “Education is the Key. There is no magic formula or method to assure success; The one who does make the grade will be the one who comes early and stays late, who finds the meaning of the lesson. When you are on the road of leadership, sometimes you are going to run, sometimes you are going to crawl, sometimes you are going to fail, but when you fall, fall on your back and look up, so that you can see to get up and getting going. In your chosen area of work, master the basic principle, cultivate creativity, and decide there is a different approach. Look at what can make your work product better.” She closed her eloquent statements with her ABC’s of Life.
Palmetto Youth Connections, in partnership with Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester County Adult Education, provides out-of-school youth between the ages of 16 – 21 GED preparation and 20 hours of pre-employment training, which includes information about how to search for a job, how to fill out a job application, and how to prepare for an interview. Youth enrolled in PYC also have the opportunity to participate in training programs in Customer Service, Certified Nursing Assistant, Pre-Manufacturing, and welding.
In 2006, Palmetto Youth Connections conducted orientation for 1,023 young men and women, and enrolled 327. Of those enrolled, 21 received an Adult Education Diploma, 32 received a GED, and 123 were placed in jobs.
Palmetto Youth Connections is a Community Partnership Project that receives support through Workforce Investment Act funding obtained by the Trident Workforce Investment Board. In addition to the Trident Workforce Investment Board, partners include: Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester Adult Education; Communities in Schools, City of Charleston Office of Families, Youth, and Children, SC Employment Security Commission, Job Corps, Telamon, Trident Technical College, and SC Vocational Rehabilitation.
The mission of PYC is to improve the quality, competitiveness, and productivity of the nation’s future workforce by providing quality educational and vocational services to Out-of-School At-Risk Youth, preparing youth to enter employment and/or post-secondary education, and building community-wide collaborations among organizations that serve youth. Their ultimate goal is to provide work-ready young adults for business and industry.
The goal of the One-Stop Career System is to improve the quality of the workforce and enhance workforce productivity to aid in the growth of the region’s economy. The Trident One-Stop Career Center is located at 1930 Hanahan Road in North Charleston. Satellite Centers are located in Moncks Corner, Summerville, and Charleston. For more information on available services and programs or to find the center nearest to you, call 843-574-1800.
The Trident Workforce Investment Board (TWIB) provides funding for Trident One-Stop Career System programs and services.