The Churchill County Commissioners met Thursday and approved the $12,000 grant from the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Discretionary Funding Award to support the Youth Work Experience Program.
Shannon Ernst, Social Services director, said previously social services had entered into an agreement with Churchill Economic Development Authority (CEDA) to provide work experience for adults.
“Through this process of elevating programs we found out it was a duplicate but we wanted to fill gaps within the community with the funds,” Ernst said. “Through a committee meeting that Northern Nevada Development Authority (NNDA) provides for work force development, it was identified that the county doesn’t have the work force to fill the current or new positions coming to the area. This is an identified area of concern, not only in Nevada but also across the nation. We don’t have educated youth to go to work.”
Ernst said a process was looked at on how to provide education for youth while they’re still in school. She said the process needed to start early on to identify careers students want to participate in and look how to obtain education to move forward after the students graduate.
“We sat down with Rachel Dahl, executive director of CEDA, came up with a proposal for discretionary funds from the CSBG for $12,000 that are mapped with regular CSBG funds,” Ernst said. “That will allow 15 youth per year to enter into a work experience program. The students that are eligible will come up with a career plan and will be guided by Teresa Gehman who is the counselor at high school. She will work with the students and identify what their potential and desired career in the future.”
CEDA will work with local employers to place youth into their companies to essentially job shadow, Ernst said.
“Classes will be offered to learn work ethics along with creating a resume and implementing interview skills,” she said. “It is not a wage subsidy program it is incentive based. Students are required to participate five hours a week for up to 12 weeks. If they complete the program successfully they will receive a $600 stipend. If they complete the work ethics classes they will receive an additional stipend and if they get employed at the end of the 12 weeks where they were shadowing or somewhere else an additional payment of $100 will be awarded to them.”
Ernst said she believes the program will be successful. She said the state is excited to try the new program and the state is excited to fund it.
Other items the commissioners approved include the following:
Approved the State of Nevada Division of Housing grant funds awarded to Churchill County for the provision of Tenant Based Rental Assistance.
Approved to re-appoint Donna Cossette to the cemetery board to fill a term that expires on Sept. 30, 2018.
Approved renewal of Churchill County’s annual membership with Northern Nevada Development Authority in the amount of $25,000.
Approved the request made by Garrett Gordon on behalf of Fallon River Park, LLC to extend the timeline by which to submit a first and final map for the Fallon River Park PUD by an additional three years, to Sept. 1, 2017.