YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Ohio Department of Education awarded the Regional Chamber two $100,000 grants for the second round of its Community Connectors school mentorship program on Friday.
While the program launched locally in the first round of funding with Youngstown City School students during the past school year, the program will be extended to the Warren City School District in the upcoming 2016-2017 school year.
Community Connectors is aimed at making students in 11th and 12th grades workforce-ready by matching them to job and mentorship opportunities, as well as providing job shadowing and internship and externship opportunities, all within the local business community.
Nick Santucci is manager of education and workforce development at the Regional Chamber, he made the following statement:
We are beyond pleased to have received funding to continue this program in our community, especially as Warren City’s 11th and 12th graders can now take advantage of all that is has to offer. We applied for another year of funding because of the program’s great success in Youngstown. We saw that the work we were doing was beneficial to the students because they had access to real-world employment opportunities, which taught them how to interact with supervisors, fiscal responsibility and so many of the additional benefits that come with work experience.”
While initial expectation for student participation was 100, more than 130 Youngstown City students enrolled last year. In order to be eligible, students must have a 2.0 GPA and be recommended by a teacher.
The local grant opportunity is a collaboration of the Regional Chamber, Youngstown State University, Kent State University Trumbull Campus, Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance, Eastern Gateway Community College, Choffin Career and Technical Center/Youngstown City Schools and Teen Straight Talk.