Southeast Initiates Special Project to Increase Local Talent Pool
With the approval of the workforce development board, Southeast Texas has launched
the Next Step Program to focus on assisting Foster Youth to successfully enter the workforce.
Foster Youth are designated as a target population and receive priority services through
the workforce centers. The Odle Management Group, selected through the procurement process,
will work with other entities that support Foster Youth who may have aged out of foster care and are still looking
for a job. Foster Youth graduates will be able to participate in internships, On-the-Job
training, and short-term classroom training, to ensure they are work-ready.
Talent Pipeline Development is also part of this Special Project for Southeast Texas and
will focus on individuals participating in the Jobs for Americas Graduates (JAG) initiative
and other job seekers with long-term unemployment. "With the reimbursement for On-the-Job
Training (OJT), we will help to reduce the training costs associated with new employees up to
50 percent", stated Marilyn Smith. "We can effectively 'grow our own' skilled, competitive
workforce in Southeast Texas, through partnership with business and industry."
The discretionary employment and training projects have been made possible through the
Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) statewide alternative funding allocated to the workforce
board. The project is expected to operate through June 2020. As funds are limited, we
encourage interested employers to contact Matthew Whisenhant, worksite coordinator, at
409-951-4119. For additional information regarding Next Step Program, please contact
Anitra Smith, operations supervisor, 409-719-4762.