By Cassandra Favre, Staff Writer
Dec 16, 2016, 17:22
In an effort to help young adults in Hancock County become self-sufficient members of the community and find gainful employment, the counselors at the Education and Training Institute in Waveland provide a variety of training aimed at that goal.
In December 2015, the Gulf Coast Community Action Agency Working on Winning program dissolved and ETI picked up the program in January of this year, ETI career counselor Shannan Lewis said.
“We help youth ages 16 to 24 become self-sufficient adults,” Lewis said. “In my opinion, the Department of Labor is targeting youth coming into the workforce. A lot of people in that age range are not working and don’t have a GED. We get them training to take care of themselves.”
Lewis said ETI provides GED training, job training skills and shows participants how to manage a budget through financial literacy.
“We also take people who have a diploma and a low-income and provide training,” she said.
ETI enters into worksite agreements with qualifying partners so students can get paid work experience, she said.
“We pay our students to work at someone else’s job,” Lewis said. “$7.25 per hour up to 400 hours. We like to find jobs in their field of interests, which is not always possible.”
ETI also provides assistance with post-secondary education and advance training, Lewis said.
Services are offered at no cost to students, she said. “We pay students with incentives when they complete the Bring Your A Game program or getting their GED. We’re investing our money into them so they can become self-sufficient.”
Lewis said ETI is funded by the Southern Mississippi Planning and Development District through the Department of Labor.
Once interested parties contact Smith or counselor Annie Smith, prospective students will fill out an application and complete a locater, math, and reading test, Lewis said.
“So we can see their levels and find the areas they may need help in,” she said. “It’s for everyone that comes through the door, whether they have a diploma or not.”
In June, Lewis said 11 students graduated from the program. Enrollment opportunities are available year round, she added.
Lewis said ETI is seeking partners for the Paid Work Experience in order to place their students.
“The biggest incentive is they get workers they don’t have to pay,” she said. “We pay them. The goal is for them to get enough experience or training to get a job where they’re placed or get advanced training in that field so they can find employment.”
The ETI Career Prep Center is located at 640 Hwy. 90, Ste. B, Waveland. For more information, contact staff at 228-467-7575 and visit the website at www.eti-ms.org