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  • Rhonnie Brewer

17 Again

Updated: May 12, 2020

by Phalisha Jackson

Creating a Path from High School directly to the Workforce

Imagine for a second that you are 17 again and the world is your oyster. You have a small, part-time job, life is great! Suddenly, reality hits when your guidance counselor enters into your first period class with life changing information. High school is ending in less than a year and it is time to start considering what your future will look like.

You acknowledge that being a traditional college student is not for you, but you still need an education or technical skills.

Now, the time has come to really start to thinking about your future...hmm. You acknowledge that being a traditional college student is not for you, but you still need an education or technical skills. It seems you may be struggling on how exactly to start making your impact.

Here’s the solution to your problem, the ProGeny Skills Initiative!!! This workforce development program offers access through MidSouthWorks, an entirely online workforce development eco-system builder which allows every student to explore careers, build skills and find jobs. This innovative web of career technology is integrated within PowerSchool, Shelby County Schools’ web-based student information system.

From Kindergarten to Grade 12, there are interactive ways to engage every student in career exploration. MidSouthWorks’ unique collection of videos, career cards, online courses, and quizzes offers students at all levels the opportunity to enhance their knowledge of future career opportunities. For those graduating seniors who will be immediately entering the workforce upon graduation, MidSouthWorks provides a direct connection to local employers with open positions.

The Memphis Landscape

The city of Memphis has one of the highest rates of young people between the ages of 16 and 24 who are not in school and chronically unemployed. This demographic is classified as “Opportunity Youth.” Picture this, if those 40,000 youth were able to obtain much needed job skills and connect to jobs via MidSouthWorks paying $11.72/ hour, their income alone would add more than $925 million dollars to the region’s GDP. Wow! The potential impact this program could have on the city’s “Opportunity Youth” population is astounding!

Now imagine your 17-year-old self again, except now you have guidance, jobs training, etc. You are able to make a life for yourself! The possibility of having a family and going from a cycle of generational poverty to building generational wealth is a possibility. With the ProGeny E.A.R.N. Initiative, this could be a reality for any young adult creating their path in the world.

So, what are you waiting for? It is time to get ready, set, and ProGeny Place.

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