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NAWDP Youth Symposium 2017

December 19, 2017

LEAD Center staff and partners presented at a plenary session at the 2017 Youth Development Symposium, held annually by the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals (NAWDP). Elizabeth Jennings, Assistant Project Director and Training and Technical Assistance Team Lead for LEAD Center; Nancy Boutot, Manager of Cross System Integration for LEAD Center; Rose Sloan, Policy Advisor, Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy; and Tiffany Allen, Security Officer, Allied Universal, spoke on Partnering to Support Successful Outcomes for Youth with Barriers to Employment.

Presenters discussed areas within the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act’s (WIOA) Title I and IV that focus on services for youth who face barriers to employment and collaboration opportunities. Most youth benefit from receiving support from multiple sources to achieve and maintain employment. In this plenary, participants learned about partnerships, innovative practices, and resources that can assist service providers in supporting youth who face multiple barriers to employment, including youth with disabilities. Presenters highlighted activities and partnerships that promote/provide alternative assessments, financial literacy support, and just-in-time moments to meet youth where they are and encourage them to enter a career pathway.

LEAD Center had the privilege of co-presenting with Tiffany Allen, who is a security officer at Allied Universal. Tiffany shared her experiences related to job training and the pathway she took in securing employment. Tiffany received support to get her job from her school in partnership with vocational rehabilitation and the workforce system. As a security officer, Tiffany builds, improves, and maintains effective relationships with both employees and guests. She is responsible for answering phones, greeting guests and employees in a professional manner, reporting safety concerns, and providing high quality security services. She enjoys her job and loves connecting with other people. Tiffany has received training in customer service, job training, and resume building at Youth Connection Charter School in Chicago, Ill.

NAWDP’s 2017 Youth Symposium had nearly 600 attendees, all of whom were youth-focused workforce professionals. This year’s Symposium offered 30 workshop sessions, 16 exhibitors, and three general sessions focused on networking, improving employer engagement, leadership, professional development, and strengthening career pathways.