Unemployed? Workforce training helps disadvantaged youth find better jobs

Posted January 29, 2018 6:39 a.m. EST
Updated July 13, 2018 2:06 p.m. EDT

— Getting a job can be tough for anybody who's young and inexperienced, but when you have other barriers to overcome, it can be almost impossible.

Recent immigrants, high school drop-outs and the homeless can all have a hard time breaking in the job market, but a new program in Raleigh is trying to change that.

Workforce-training programs are giving people like Jasper Kumo a chance to improve their lives.

New program helps launch careers

Kumo works at Carolinas IT in Raleigh, and he's learning the ropes of working in the computer support business. After coming from Kenya, he signed up for workforce training program through Wake Tech, and he says it's given him the break he needed.

"I really believe this program has built that strong foundation for me," said Kumo.

Another program opening in Raleigh called YouthBuild aims to build more strong foundations, providing an opportunity for young adults to learn about careers in construction. They'll even get some hands-on experience by helping to build houses at East College Park.

New program helps launch careers

These empty lots in east Raleigh eventually will be filled with affordable housing, and YouthBuild program manager Sharon Taybron says it's an opportunity that will change lives.

"Some of the young adults may have dropped out of high school or be basic-skill deficient," said Taybron. "This will help them overcome the barriers and prepare for the future."

As the homes go up in this neighborhood, the YouthBuild participants will get their GED and learn skills that could give them a head start in a good career.

Back at Carolinas IT, Kumo says workforce-training gave him the confidence he needed to start a new life. "I'm able to do things that I didn't think iId be able to do," said Kumo.

Interested in learning more about YouthBuild? The program is open to people ages 16 to 24 living in the 27601, 62704 or 27610 ZIP codes. Participants must obtain a GED and must have some barriers that prevent them from gaining employment.