Today’s Befalling ATL Job and Resource Fair in Decatur seeks not alone to abode adolescent candidates in jobs, but to assignment with them on account skills, resume building, and alike accommodate training assets and account attire.
The fair’s focus is added than 34,000 adolescent bodies in busline Atlanta, alleged “opportunity youth,” amid ages 16 and 24, who alone out of school, bootless out of school, were kicked out of academy or accomplished academy and did not seek added advancement. They are afflicted by annihilation from clearing issues to bent records, homelessness, or abridgement of adolescent affliction options.
It’s a abandonment from the archetypal allowance abounding aloof with aggregation assembly sitting abaft labeled tables handing out aggregation advice and giving abroad pens, pencils and baptize bottles. Befalling ATL, started by the busline Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, was created to amount out means to carry educational and workforce assets to this generally underserved population.
“The ambition is to advice them get jobs or affix to concise training that is accumbent with the bounded workforce,” said Amy Lancaster, the administrator of workforce development for the Busline Atlanta Chamber of Commerce.
The White House Council for Community Solutions coined the appellation “opportunity youth” added than bristles years ago while researching the demographic beneath the Obama Administration, but the assignment to ascertain who was allotment of this demographic began about 20 years ago. Several nonprofits either sprang up or added a focus on adolescence acutely broken from assets that could allow them bigger opportunities.
“We assignment with communities to body out pathways … so back bodies are re-engaged in apprenticeship systems, they accept the abutment and opportunities for what they charge to succeed,” said Lili Allen, accessory carnality admiral for JFF, a civic nonprofit that works to drive changes in the country’s workforce and apprenticeship systems.
Allen said befalling adolescence generally abatement in one of two categories: Either they did not alum from aerial school, or they accelerating and never went anywhere.
“It’s abundant harder to acquisition them and ability them,” she said of those who did alum but could use assets to reconnect to pipelines for added apprenticeship or jobs with bigger advance opportunities. “There are lists of bodies who did not graduate, so it’s easier to go about award them.”
Some 6.7 actor befalling adolescence were articular through U.S. Census and added abstracts as allotment of the White House Council for Community Solutions’ final report, delivered in 2012. That cardinal has beneath decidedly back again to about 4.6 million.
“What we are seeing about the country in agreement of what works is these aing partnerships amid community-based organizations, post-secondary institutions and administration … and conception of pathways that are demand-driven,”Allen said.
In May, Atlanta became the eighth burghal in the country to authority a fair through the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative, a affiliation of administration gluttonous to appoint befalling youth. The action is acquisitive to abide extensive befalling adolescence through assignment in 25 communities and busline areas — including Atlanta, Seattle, Chicago and Los Angeles — to eventually annihilate the demographic.
Kisha Bird, administrator of adolescence action at the Center for Law and Social Policy, a detached antipoverty alignment that seeks action solutions for low-income people, said befalling adolescence were initially categorized as “out of school, out of work” or broken youth. But adolescent people, back approached, said neither fit them.
“They said two things — ‘Don’t alarm us dropouts and don’t alarm us disconnected’,” she said. “They said, ‘It’s the systems that are disconnected, not us. We represent opportunity. We charge opportunity.’ It’s a allegory that they were aloof declining out.
“Sometimes, activity happens.”
Vernetta Jackson larboard May’s fair with a additional account for a position at Enterprise Holdings, which includes rental car companies Enterprise, Alamo and National. She went to the fair with a apple-pie outfit, an anachronous resume and a plan to get assassin by Enterprise. At the time, she was after a job, and with a bairn babyish at home. She said she chock-full carrying aliment for Panera Bread Co. anon afore accepting the baby.
She was assassin several weeks later.
“It was aloof such a absolution for me,” she said.
Jackson, 27, got to the fair beneath than an hour afore it was over. On the way inside, candidates absolved a red carpeting breadth advance — one adage was “You’re gonna get that job” — was spouted over a loud speaker. Once inside, Jackson said she got advice with her resume afore authoritative her way to the Enterprise booth, breadth she sat bottomward to ample out the application. Karen McGrath, animal assets administrator for Enterprise Holdings, gave Jackson tips on interviewing afore sitting Jackson with addition agent for the aftermost on-site account of the day.
“Some of the obstacles the adolescent bodies accept in advanced of them are so accessible to relieve,” McGrath said.
She said her aggregation assassin added than a bisected dozen bodies at the May fair for its locations in Dunwoody and at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, including Jackson.
Jackson said her job has included alive the account counter, allowance barter accept cartage and closing out rentals in the acknowledgment area. She’s alike met a few celebrities.
“You never apperceive who you’ll accommodated actuality at the airport,” she said.
The job offers several perks, Jackson said, from bloom and retirement allowances to opportunities for growth. That was article she did not accept in antecedent jobs.
“I like what the aggregation stands for, how they amusement you like family,” she said. “Now, I’ve got options for what I appetite to do.”
Bird cautions, though, that while there has been advance in blurred the cardinal of befalling youth, disparities and ancestral inequities remain. Adolescent people, abnormally those of color, charge assignment acquaintance and bodies who can vouch for them as references.
“More bodies are talking about it,” she said, “but that doesn’t beggarly there’s added (public sector) investment.”
Befalling ATL Job and Resource Fair
WHEN: Oct. 16, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Pre-fair Workshop for jobseekers begins at 9 a.m.)
WHO: Atlanta youths ages 16 to 24 who are neither alive nor in school
WHERE: Goodwill Career Center, 2201 Lawrenceville Highway, Decatur, GA 30033 (The job fair is accouterment a chargeless shuttle to and from the Decatur Marta station)
Please annals at OpportunityATL.org.
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