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Youth Employment Workshop planned for June 6

BY ANTHONY LOMBARDI - alombardi@perutribune.com

Get connected. Gain skills. Get hired. 

Those are the goals Miami County Works hopes to accomplish at the organization’s first youth employment workshop on June 6. 

“It educates and empowers the youth on their ability to gain and keep employment,” said Antonia Sawyer, the local systems coordinator for the Systems of Care Governance Coalition. “It gives them an opportunity to talk with local organizations, get further involved in the community and to surround themselves with supportive adults.” 

Funded by United Way of Miami County grants, the Miami County Works Youth Employment Workshop is a collaboration between United Way, the SOCGC, WorkOne, the Miami Prosecutor’s Office, Ivy Tech, the Family Service Association and the Miami County Economic Development Authority.  

The event is scheduled to take place from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Ivy Tech, located at 425 W. Main St.

Sawyer said that more than half of the 181 youth who filled out a community assessment survey between January and February expressed their desire to see a workshop of this kind in Peru. 

With the majority of young adults and children out of school for the summer by then, what better time to help them meet with organizations, complete applications and get a job? 

The workshop will start with a presentation from MCEDA’s Executive Director Jim Tidd on the importance of soft skills – such as punctuality, staying off the cellphone and appropriate conversations – in the workplace. 

“Those are some of the top concerns with employing organizations in our community,” Sawyer said. “We’re excited to have (Tidd).” 

After Tidd imparts his wisdom, attendees will have the chance to visit several tables that each have their very own theme. 

One table will focus on diplomas, certifications and college graduate level education. Another will discuss dressing for success and show the youth what is and isn’t appropriate interview and work attire. And another booth will be set up to look at resumes and to provide constructive feedback and tips for how to stand out.  

“It’s important that we support our youth,” Sawyer said. “Middle-skills jobs are important (and) certificates of trade are important, so we want to make those opportunities available.”

While the workshop is meant for young adults at least 14 years of age and older, Sawyer said she expects people as old 24 to attend. She doesn’t want to discourage parents from tagging along, either.

“We would absolutely love for parents to come with their youth,” she said. “I feel like … they’re the main support system before the community.” 

Registration for the event  can be done online by searching “Miami County Works Youth Employment Workshop” at www.eventbrite.com. 

Even if someone forgets to register, however, Sawyer said they won’t be turned away.  “We want to support them no matter what,” she said. “We want to be able to give them the best foot forward in achieving their goals.”