WILLIAMSBURG — Williamsburg Christian Academy (WCA) will begin offering a workforce readiness program to both high school students and adults this July.
The program focuses on developing workplace competencies such as relational skills, technical skills, and career skills for young people so that participating individuals may lay the foundation for stable careers throughout their lives.
The instruction being offered is similar for both high school-aged students and adult students because it focuses on developing key professional and career skills needed for successful employment. However, there are some slight differences such as the high school-level students will have their program coincide with their school year.
“Whether they are going to enter blue-collar or white-collar professions, and whether they intend to work after high school or go to college,” said WCA’s Head of School Johnny Graham in an interview with WYDaily. “With the workforce readiness program, at the high school level, we’ll have young people actually outsource and working as part-time employees for businesses locally to help provide a pipeline of potential employees for these employers”
The adult evening program will provide 120-day cohorts that include participation in evening classes as well as other technical and professional training. In total, there will be approximately four adult groups in the program; one for every quarter throughout the year.
“The thing that makes the adult workforce readiness program unique is that Williamsburg Christian Academy is partnered with 3E Restoration to provide short-term and long-term support for young adults who may have experienced disruptions or inconsistent levels of employment in their lives,” said Graham. “So there will be a workforce sustainability mentor that’s assigned to the students in the adult program. Once they sign on with an employer, that mentor/coach really helps them remain employed for a long period of time. For example, if an employee experienced an issue that could result in a disciplinary consequence at the workplace, the workforce sustainability mentor would help navigate that young person through the situation.”
The same technical and career skills competencies are explored for the adult program as in the one for high school students.
“There will be evening classes three times a week. There will be the OSHA 30 Safety Training, there will be certain workplace etiquette training, CPR first-aide competence person training, as well as their technical and skill training which we have partnerships which are in the works with various skill/trade organizations, such as Thomas Nelson and New Horizons,” said Graham. “Those competencies are invaluable to future employees and those classes will meet a few times a week. That will represent a part of that 120-hour cohort.”
Childcare is also provided during these evening classes for participants who are care providers.
The 3E Restoration partnership with WCA offers the local area an alternative solution to help adults remain employed.
“We think it will be a blessing to the entire community,” Graham said.
Locals interested in joining the program are asked to reach out to HOS@williamsburgchristian.org or at (757) 220-1978.
WCA is also inviting employers in James City County, York County, and New Kent County, who are interested in participating in the program or who wish to learn more about the program. Those employers are also asked to contact the same email and phone number.