Success and training helps youth focus on goals and future careers in the workforce.
Representatives from Oklahoma Works spent a few moments with the Duncan Noon Lions Club on Thursday talking about the Workforce programs they have available.
Haylee Ponder, along with a few members of her team, talked with the club about what Workforce Oklahoma offers through a few of their programs and how they can help youth and young adults succeed in careers and education.
Ponder discussed enrollment, training, career and educational goals.
“We set people up for success,” Ponder said. “We get them enrolled in our program, figure out where they want to go to vocational training, where they want to go to get their bachelor’s.”
Ponder said they try to help set and achieve educational and career goals by getting youth into the workforce, as well as having a self-sufficient wage.
“We enroll people under the WIOA Program (Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act),” Ponder said.
According to Ponder, it’s a grant for those who qualify and it helps fund some of the schools and vocational training.
Ponder said their team covers South Central Oklahoma and they work out of Lawton, Chickasha and Duncan.
Some of the services offered through Oklahoma Works include occupational skills training.
“We help them with developing a resume,” Ponder said. “Maybe talking through some interview tips and kind of getting ready for them ready for the workforce.”
Ponder said they work to help these youth and young adults find their goal, as well as helping with work experience.
“We have several worksite locations,” Ponder said. “We put them in there and they can work up to 520 hours.”
With the training received, workers will develop the necessary skills in the field they are interested in, such as being an administrative assistant.
“We also offer supportive services,” Ponder said. “Maybe they need a gas card to go to and from trainings or to and from their work experience. We help with whatever uniform needs they might need.”
Ponder said they have the Economic Transition Act which just came out.
“You just have to be currently receiving or have exhausted your unemployment,” Ponder said.
Workforce is funded by the state of Oklahoma and helps many youth meet goals and develop skills.
Ponder said they do provide incentives for those who complete their program.
“Most of the funding for the program is primarily based on youth,” Ponder said. “Getting them to where they need to be. If they complete a vocational training or they complete a bachelor’s degree, they can earn up to $200-$300 after completion.”
Currently, Workforce’s Summer Work Experience program is underway for ages 16-24.
“It’s a work experience, plus an academic online lessons,” Ponder said. “With that, it’s $1,500 that they earn on top of whatever they’re making at their work experience location.”
According to Ponder, as long as they get good evaluations, partake in lessons and remain doing what they are supposed to do, they are able to continue with the program.
Ponder said they get paid through the program and it’s up to the company afterwards if they want to keep them on full-time employment.
For more information, visit Oklahoma Works on Facebook or contact one of the offices or visit, http://scowib.info/services/job-seeker-services/
The Duncan office is located at 1927 W Elk. Call 580-255-8950.