Youth in LAYC’s Promotor Pathway® and workforce programs in Prince George’s (PG) County are reporting remarkable achievements this year! With the help of dedicated LAYC staff and a productive partnership with Prince George’s County Public Schools’ (PGCPS) McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program through Title 1, some of the County’s most at-risk youth are improving school attendance, graduating from high school, getting jobs, and staying employed.
LAYC staff use a holistic approach to working with youth through our Promotor Pathway and PG County workforce programs. Promotores provide long-term, intensive case management for disconnected youth who face barriers to achieving their educational, employment, and healthy living goals. Our PG workforce programs offer job training, educational supports, and case management to local out-of-school youth ages 16-24. Program participants work toward completing their GED and receive assistance to pursue post-secondary education and financial aid for their studies. It is not uncommon for our workforce program staff to join forces with Pathway staff. For example, youth experiencing homelessness may be referred to the Pathway if they require support beyond basic case management, and Pathway staff can make client referrals for employment opportunities and trainings.
The Pathway has been active in PGCPS since 2014, and our presence in the County has grown to 13 Promotores working in six high schools today. PG Promotores served 334 youth in FY17 and FY18. Among youth who worked with a Promotor for at least six months during that period, 77% of students maintained good school attendance, 57% passed over 70% of their classes, and 63% obtained their high school diploma or GED.
In 2017, with the help of Title 1, Part A funds, LAYC began a partnership with the PGCPS McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program, to specifically serve students experiencing homelessness. According to Promotor Pathway Director Shayna Scholnick, this partnership has enabled LAYC to place an additional four Promotores in local high schools, including two schools that had not previously been served by Promotores. As a result, LAYC has the capacity to reach up to 100 additional youth, including some of the County’s most vulnerable young people.
Forty-six participants are currently employed though LAYC’s PG County workforce program, 19 full-time and 24 part-time. These youth have been employed for an average of 15 months, which shows they are retaining their employment. They also report an average starting wage of $13.33, which is well above the local minimum wage. In 2019, LAYC staff will continue to learn from our workforce data to identify the most appropriate employment opportunities we can offer to PG County youth.
We congratulate all of the PG County youth who have worked so hard to accomplish their academic and career goals this year! We believe in you!