Program helps Warren and Youngstown students get job ready

The Community Connectors program pairs students up with workforce and mentoring opportunities

Community Connectors matches students with workforce and mentoring opportunities in Youngstown and Warren.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Getting high school students workforce ready is the goal of a program that’s sets to kickoff Thursday called Youngstown Community Connectors.

The program, funded through a $100,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Education, pairs students up with work and mentoring opportunities through the Youngstown/Warren regional Chamber of Commerce.

Students in 11th and 12th grade are matched up with job and mentorship opportunities with member businesses where they can learn job skills, resume writing, interviewing techniques, time management, team collaboration and how to dress for the workplace.

Program Director Loisjean Haynes-Paige said she wants students to know that someone cares about them and their future.

“I want students to take away from this that I can do this, I can make it,” Haynes-Paige said.

During the 2015-2016 school year, 130 students participated in the program and 104 participated in real-world work opportunities.

The program has 80 mentors registered but they need more. Haynes-Paige said mentors must be at least 18 years old and able to pass a background check and drug test. They also have to get some training as well.

“We teach them about various different issues and problems our child have, how to talk to them, how to interact with them,” Haynes-Paige said.

The program was extended to the Warren City School District for the 2016-2017 school year.

A kickoff for this year’s event for Youngstown students is scheduled for 5 – 7 p.m. Thursday at the Choffin Career and Technical Center in Youngstown. Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini is the guest speaker and the event will include a showcase of employment and mentoring opportunities.

For more information call (330) 744-8759.

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