$1 million Harvest grant will fund workforce program in Henry County

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A Harvest Foundation totaling over $1 million will fund a pilot workforce program to help young people find a career path and enter the workforce.

(Photo: Courtesy MGN)

HENRY COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — A Harvest Foundation totaling over $1 million will fund a pilot workforce program to help young people find a career path and enter the workforce in Henry County.

The foundation partnered with the West Piedmont Workforce to launch the Guided Career Exploration program, a three-year investment.

“Our labor participation rate, which is the total number of people who are currently employed or in search of a job, is only 51 percent compared to the state at 68 percent,” Sheryl Agee, impact officer at the foundation said in a statement.

The program will focus on residents from 17 to 24 years of age “who are unemployed, underemployed, not already attending college or pursuing a career path,” according to a foundation statement.

Participants will be paired up with a career coach during the 12-week program and receive training, and work experiences through an “intense mentoring approach,” the statement continued.

Tyler Freeland, deputy director of the West Piedmont Workforce Investment Board, said this program differs from other workforce development initiatives because it provides paid training and work experience. Instead of students concerned with meeting their living expenses, participants can solely focus on being successful in the program, Freeland said.

“We know there are thousands of young adults in our community who could use a boost finding their career path and discovering their dreams,” he said. “We now have the opportunity and resources to serve this population better than ever before.”

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