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Youth Services

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Workforce Investment Act
Region 13 Youth Program

There are many challenges confronting young people today.  Completion of high school may be difficult.  For many, it is hard to see what role the education they are offered now relates to jobs they will need to support themselves in the future.  Young people often times lack the skills they need to secure and keep employment.  Through a variety of activities, Iowa Western Community College Workforce Development, through programs offered under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), can provide an efficient and effective system that can assist youth in developing their workplace skills.

WIA Youth Eligibility

To be eligible to participate in the WIA Youth Program, an applicant must meet all five criteria listed below:

A low-income individual;  AND

An individual who is one or more of the following;  

     Deficient in basic literacy skills

     A school dropout (not including those enrolled in
     alternative school)

     Homeless, a runaway, or a foster child

     Pregnant or parenting

     An offender

     An individual who requires additional assistance to 
     complete an education program, or to secure and 
     hold employment.  This region defines this 
     category as individuals who have difficulty
     mastering the language, academic, cultural and
     social skills necessary to reach the educational
     and employment levels of which they are capable.

     Substance abuser (past or current);  AND

Registered with the selective service, if applicable;  AND

A citizen or national of the United States, a lawfully admitted permanent resident alien, a lawfully admitted refugee or parolee, or an individual authorized by the Attorney General to work in the United States.

WIA Youth Program Activities and Services

On-the-Job Training (OJT)

OJT offers training in an actual work situation that has career advancement potential.  This allows the young person to develop specific occupational skills or to obtain specialized skills required by an individual employer.

Work Experience

Short-term or part-time employment allows youth who participate in a work experience to develop good work habits and basic work skills.  This is training that will serve them for life in whatever occupations they pursue.  A Work Experience activity is intended for individuals with little or no job experience.

Institutional Skills Training

Conducted in a classroom setting, institutional skills training provides the technical skills and information required to perform a specific job.  Typically, it leads to a certificate, diploma, or degree from a two-year vocational/technical institution.

General Education Development

GED is for youth who have not completed their high school education.  They receive instruction to assist them in the successful completion of the GED tests.

Career Guidance and Counseling

Students receive career counseling, as well as the opportunity to use a number of assessment tools to guide them in their career decisions.

In addition to the services listed above, supportive services such as transportation and child-care assistance may be authorized on an as-needed basis.

For more information on the WIA program, you can call 712-242-2121 or contact your local Workforce Development Center.

Child Labor Laws/Work Permits

Employers are required by law to maintain a reasonably safe working environment.  There are several special considerations that may apply to workers who are under the age of eighteen.  Youth under the age of 16 in Iowa are required to have a work permit before starting work.  Youth who are 14 or 15 years old are also limited by the number of hours they can work during the day and week.

Employers may require youth age 16 and older to obtain a Certificate of Age.  Under Iowa Child Labor Law minors under the age of 18 are prohibited from working in certain occupations, performing certain duties, and from using certain equipment.

For more information on both Iowa and Federal child labor laws, visit Iowa Workforce Development on the web or contact your local Workforce Development Center.

Registered Apprenticeships

Registered apprenticeships are formalized career training programs that offer a combination of structured on-the-job training and related technical instruction to employees to train them in occupations that demand a high level of skill.

Job Corps

Job Corp is the nation's largest and most comprehensive residential, education and job training programs for at-risk youth, ages 16 through 24.  It provides disadvantaged young people with the integrated academic, vocational, and social skills training they need to gain independence and get quality, long term jobs or further their education.

For more information you can call 712-329-9730.

Region 13 Youth Advisory Council

The Region 13 Youth Advisory Council provides guidance for, and exercises oversight of, local youth programs operated under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). In addition, the council provides expertise in youth policy and assists the Regional Workforce Investment Board (RWIB) in:

1. Developing and recommending local youth employment and training policy and practice. 

2. Broadening the youth employment and training focus in the community to incorporate a youth development perspective.
3. Establishing links with other organizations serving youth in the local area.  

4. Factoring the range of issues that can have an impact on the success of youth in the labor market.    

Members of the Youth Advisory Council serve two-year terms, and represent people with a special interest in youth policy. Members include individuals from youth service agencies, such as juvenile justice and law enforcement, public housing, parents, or WIA participants, and the RWIB.

For more information about the Youth Advisory Council, contact Mary Warren at (712) 242-2113.


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