Local Youth Program Launched

Inspired by the ongoing work of the West 30’s Task Force in central Covington, the St. Tammany Business & Career Solutions Center committed funding and developed a strategy to reach out to and engage young people to develop the skills necessary to lead them to meaningful employment, and retention in the workforce. The pilot, lead by Denise Davillier, Director of Youth Services, will include a group of 10 youth between the ages of 18 and 24 who will undergo a six-month program of intensive case management, including employment goals, work readiness skills, placement in various paid work experiences, and the opportunity to connect with mentors and employers in the community. Participants will be provided with direct connections to adult education and post-secondary opportunities. A central element of the program is a local community beautification project that will directly benefit the public spaces in the West 30’s. Mr. Jerome “Bo” Elzy will serve in the role of supervisor and mentor to the program participants. Mr. Elzy has served the West 30’s community for many years in many capacities and has worked closely with the St. Tammany Business & Career Solutions Center in the development of the curriculum for the West 30’s Youth Care Team. Covington Mayor Mike Cooper, St. Tammany Parish School Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse III were invited speakers to the program launch and will be joined by representatives of the Workforce Development Board and St. Tammany Business & Career Solutions Center and Mr. Elzy to present the details of the six-month program goals, strategies, and desired outcomes. The launch event at the Groves at Mile Branch, 424 Purslane Drive in Covington was celebrated with refreshments and music provided by generous sponsors of the community. For further information or if your business would like to be considered to host a work experience opportunity, contact Denise Davillier, Director of Youth Services, St. Tammany Business & Career Solutions Center, (985) 960-0320, or ddavillier@lwc.la,gov. St. Tammany Business & Career Solutions Centers, part of the Tri-Parish Works area represents the local public workforce development system serving St. Tammany, Plaquemines, and St. Bernard parish. The Centers are overseen locally by the First Planning District Workforce Development Board and are part of a network of American Job Centers that work in conjunction with the Louisiana Workforce Commission. Tri-Parish Works Business and Career Solutions Centers typically serve 500+ employers annually, posting more than 9,000 job openings and connecting employers to skilled, qualified employees. The Centers receive more than 20,000 visits per year and provides funding for occupational training to hundreds of area residents to connect them to high-demand, high-wage careers. Strategic training investments yield $9.3 million in annual wages, an 11 to 1 return on investment.