$1.5 million grant awarded to aid Promise Zone workforce development

Department of Labor funding to help with training in Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell counties

news about workforce development in the Promise ZoneJULY 27, 2016 — A national workforce development organization has received a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to help 18- to 24-year olds in Allendale, Bamberg and Barnwell counties get job training for a path to meaningful employment.

“This is a great program and opportunity for the young adults and communities in which they live,”said Jonathan Zeigler, vice president of operations for Paxen, an affiliation of Florida-based Eckerd, which is a nationally-recognized nonprofit child and family services organization. “We have already identified primary goals for our Employment Pathways Collaborative program which include providing work readiness workshops, educational options, such as linkages to GED training, and creating a clear pathway toward educational and employment placement.

The Labor Department funding over the next three years will allow Paxen to implement a reentry demonstration project for young adults who have current or prior court involvement in the three counties. The project will serve as a pathway to open doors to future potential workforce opportunities with the department which funds more than $10 billion annually in training and educational programming through the through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

Zeigler said a local partnership with the Lower Savannah Council of Governments would also support the three-year project.

Eckerd, through its Paxen affiliation, operates workforce development programs that provide education enhancement, employment training and job placement services for youths aged 16-24. Paxen specializes in developing and delivering training programs that build academic, life and employability skills for youths, adults and out-of-work dislocated wor5kers with the goal of obtaining long-term, self-sustaining employment.

About Paxen: Paxen changes lives. Since 1984, three words — We Change Lives — have been part of both the organization’s credo as well as the organization’s DNA. Each day, Paxen staff passionately instructs, assesses, evaluates, and even advocates, for the success of learners in Paxen programs. As a recognized leader in education and skills training, Paxen specializes in developing and delivering training programs that build for at-risk youths and out-of- work adults, many of whom are economically and socially disadvantaged with educational deficiencies that impede or compound employment opportunities More: Eckerd.

The South Carolina Lowcountry Promise Zone, a project of the SouthernCarolina Alliance, seeks to catalyze efforts in Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper counties to boost the quality of life and revitalize rural communities.

  • CONTACT: Andy Brack, 843.670.3996 or scpromisezone@gmail.com
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