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Youth Employment Program Involves Putnam Students

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Youth Employment Program Involves Putnam Students

Tennessee’s Youth Employment Program signed 13 Putnam County students to a summer agreement at a ceremony Friday.

The program is designed for Tennessee youth to gain employment experience. These students will help in the transition to the new Park View School facility. Department of Labor Deputy Commissioner Dewayne Scott said the program gives students the chance to learn more about various careers.

“The youth are one of the special populations of that workforce okay,” Scott said. “And this opportunity with the Youth Employment Program that we are talking about today, doesn’t take place in asylum, it takes the employees and the employers.”

Scott said Governor Bill Lee challenged the Labor Department to do more with youth and gave them fifteen million dollars to start the program last summer. Scott said he has put the money where his mouth is and the program has exceeded expectations.

“I’ll say this to the young people, what this program is intended to do more than anything is to create work experiences for you,” Scott said. “Because you are at a crossroad where you need to see as many exposed opportunities as you can, so you can decide kind of which way you want to go.”

Scott said the program has seen exponential growth in year two, growing from 1,600 students served in 2023 to more than 4,000 this summer. In addition to job skills, the program focuses on networking and how to build rapport with employers.

“I believe what the key to life is just healthy good relationships,” Scott said. “Whether you are at work, I mean that’s what this work experience will give you, you get a skill set but then you’ll learn people and you’ll have other relationships that will come from that.”

Putnam County Director Of Schools Corby King said his department shares the same mission.

“One of the things that we talk about a lot in our school system is future ready,” King said. “Future ready success, future ready opportunities and we do a lot of this through our CTE programs and workforce development whether you are going to college, Juco, or going into the workforce, we want opportunities for our students.”


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