The Upper Cumberland Job Center has new work experience funding to place youth part-time at local employers.
Executive Director of Workforce Innovation Luke Eldridge said young people have dreams about work they want to do. Eldridge said the work program partners with employers to give the kids a place to test those dreams.
Eldridge said youth can participate in the program by meeting two qualifiers such as low-income which Elridge’s team assists to determine. Afterward the work experience program helps participants lock down on their career choice or, in some cases, determine a field is not for them.
“We had a young girl who wanted to be working doing embalming,” Eldridge said. “She thought that would be so cool. So she went and worked with the local funeral home. And she decided that was not what she really wanted to do.”
Eldridge said the program put her in a different work situation and there she found the right track and continued with what she really wanted to do.
Eldridge said another plus to the program is kids get someone who can vouch for them on a resume. He said based on program work experience, one of their participants got a job at Cookeville Regional Hospital.
“That individual went on to help people which is what they wanted to do,” Eldridge said.
Eldridge said the work experience program can offer up to 25 hours a week for up to a total of 500 hours.
“They may want to go a certain route and when they get to a work experience they can offer them that job if they have availability and we can fill the workforce back up,” Eldridge said.