Youth Gains Independence and Workplace Readiness Skills

Youth Gains Independence and Workplace Readiness Skills


Transportation certainly can be an issue when seeking employment, particularly, when the potential employee has not fully developed a sense of independence.  Jibril had been looking for a job for nearly two years, with no success. That was enough to make this young person depressed and cause some concern for his mom.

United Way of Greater Union County, with a commitment to strengthening families, connected Jibril to the Urban League, and through it’s Youth Employment Pathways (YEP) program, he received a personalized strategy to secure employment.

Through the YEP program, implemented by the Urban League of Greater Union County, Jibril learned how to navigate public transportation, he was mentored by a caring adult, had an opportunity to participate in job readiness workshops, and participated in mock interviews.  This set of services helped Jibril be less dependent on his mother and more confident in his job search activities and interviews. .

The YEP program has had a positive impact on the lives of young people living in Union County. Community partnerships formed by UWGUC with local nonprofit organizations, government partners, schools and other youth providers, are designed  to provide a strong safety net for young people and their families.

After participation in the program and consistent caring support from the Urban League staff, Jibril was interviewed and hired by 1st Class Staffing Agency, which as it turns out, provides him with transportation to ensure that he is able to make it to work.  Jibril is grateful for the support he has received in the YEP program and says that “when I put my best foot forward, things have a way of working themselves out.” 


About the UWGUC Youth Employment Pathways Program

In partnership with the Union County Freeholders and Workforce Investment Board, United Way of Greater Union County (UWGUC) is managing the Union County Youth Employment Program, which aligns with its goal of “Changing the Odds for Children and Families.”  UWGUC is committed to bridging consortium partners, funders, and businesses to collectively address youth unemployment.

Unique in service delivery, and in successes, each of the Consortium partners, provide a different focus for recruitment and enrollment according to its geographic area and/or particular expertise in serving youth.  Existing service gaps exist in under resourced and underserved communities.  The Consortium partners in the YEP program have expertise in working in the identified neigbhorhoods and experience in successfully engaging the community that can most benefit from programs like UWGUC’s YEP program.

UWGUC serves as the lead agency for the YEP program and provides fiscal oversight, collects data and ensures delivery of quality services, provides technical assistance professional development for Consortium partners, and coordinates Consortium meetings designed to identify barriers to successfully implementing the YEP program.  UWGUC provides the County with program participant data, recommendations for mid-course correction, and makes policy and program design recommendation that are evidence based with a goal of facilitating service delivery and achieving targeted goals..


YEP Partners

·      Urban League of Greater Union County provides recruitment, case management services, financial literacy, job readiness and internships. Jefferson Park Ministries emphasize its efforts on serving the Haitian community and also provide job readiness, financial literacy, and internships.

·      Community Access Unlimited has extensive experience working with runaway and homeless youth.  CAU provides job readiness, financial literacy, and internships. 

·      PROCEED – experienced working with the Latino/Hispanic community and provide a comprehensive set of services that includes case management, job readiness, and internships.

·      Plainfield Action Services works with youth that are not in-school and not working.  PAS focuses its efforts on intensive case management and job readiness skill building.

·      Rahway Community Action Organization has expertise working with high school age youth at risk of not graduating. 

·      NJ Chamber of Commerce Foundation that will make available its online support tool for completing job applications for all participants, and its Remote Intern Experience