BOWIE – After the shooting of two teenagers in Old Town Bowie community last June, the city council has listened to the town’s feedback and approved a “Workforce & Life Skills Development & Training” pilot program, to help address employ-ability of the youth in the community. The program targets young adults between the ages of 15 and […]
BOWIE – After the shooting of two teenagers in Old Town Bowie community last June, the city council has listened to the town’s feedback and approved a “Workforce & Life Skills Development & Training” pilot program, to help address employ-ability of the youth in the community.
The program targets young adults between the ages of 15 and 25 in the Old Town Bowie community with a desire for job readiness skills and youth summer employment opportunities. It is a comprehensive approach that will help determine what services are needed to provide an elevated quality of life for the families in the community and will be managed by Office of Grant Development & Administration Executive Director Jesse Buggs.
“We have a number of young people between the ages of 15 and 19-years-old that we are handling, and a middle aged group (20 to 25-year-old) that we are trying to include,” Buggs said. “We are trying to provide some resources for all of those who would take advantage of it, to get the appropriate training and introduction to the kinds of skill sets that employers are asking for today. Then we can position them to obtain a job as they complete the program.”
Applicants must complete initial application by Friday, Oct. 30 in order to be eligible for the program.
“We close off the application process at the end of this month so we can begin determining their level of preparation and readiness for work. The applications have been coming in on a regular basis,” Buggs said.
Some of the first steps of the program are a complete second interview, recommended assessments, and then a review of implemented customized individual life skills and development action plans.
“We plan on assessing their skill levels and identifying the types of developmental training that they would need in order to move into the workplace and improve current working conditions,” Buggs said.
The Office of Grant Development and Administration said they will complete the program in six months, then make an assessment of the program’s success and gather information about the resources the program required.
“The council asked me to do a six month trial period to let them know what we did, how we did it, what success we had and if we need additional resources in order to expand it in that community,” Buggs said.
So far the program has received approximately twenty names from various community sources.
“I think the idea is to engage more young people and get some of the parents involved too. The opportunities there are well worth it,” said City of Bowie Mayor G. Frederick Robinson. “The people up there are good solid people and know what they need, they know what the challenges are. They are willing to roll up their sleeves and do what needs to be done.”
The program’s partners include faith-based communities, such as St. Matthews United Methodist, Ascension Catholic Church, Bowie United Methodist Church, and Cresthill Baptist Church. City departments such as Old Town Bowie Residents Committee, City of Bowie Police Department, and Huntington Community Center are also involved.
When asked about the potential success of the program Robinson responded, “It’ll work.”
In the next year, Buggs will also advise the city council as to how the program can be expanded to the whole city.