By Kathy Chouteau
A new partnership between Richmond Promise and Richmond YouthWORKS—two local trailblazers in the young adult job/education sector—will parlay into direct job placements for the former of the two organizations’ participants, according to a statement from Richmond Promise. KRON-TV recently reported on the development.
The symbiotic partnership between the two local organizations with similar career-bolstering end-games launched earlier this month and will encompass interview technique workshops, employment opportunity workshops and related support services; it is initially slated to last three years.
The budding partnership will ultimately place Richmond Promise’s current scholars and alumni in local job opportunities, with the initial focus being on alumni.
While Richmond Promise works to build post-secondary education access, scholarship and overall success via degree and certificate achievement among Richmond high school graduates, Richmond YouthWORKS—a City of Richmond program—equips local youth ages 14-24 with the tools to succeed in real-world work environments through work-based learning, financial literacy/work-readiness workshops and career counseling.
Richmond Promise stated that the collaboration “represents the community’s deep commitment to academic success for local youth and the desire to create opportunities for young people to put their education to work in their hometown.
Christopher Whitmore, executive director of Richmond Promise, said that the program’s scholars have a strong interest in launching their careers in Richmond after completing their education. He called the organization’s partnership with YouthWORKS “an important step forward in ensuring that our community is providing our scholars with jobs that will launch careers, generate economic mobility and prepare young people to lead our city.”
According to Richmond Promise, it has served more than 2,300 students since its inception and will be working with more than 413 new scholars come fall. The organization was made possible through Chevron Richmond’s commitment to invest $35 million over a ten year period to fund post-secondary education for Richmond students.
For its part, Richmond YouthWORKS teams up with more than 80 local employers and offers participants paid work experience, on-the-job training, apprenticeship training and other key benefits. “These services, coupled with the Richmond Promise Career Readiness support, will enhance the career transition of Richmond Promise alumni,” per Richmond Promise in a statement.
Noting her excitement about the partnership between Richmond YouthWORKS and Richmond Promise, Tamara Walker, deputy director of Community Service, Employment and Training Department, said that it will “afford young people the opportunity to gain critical work experience, network and develop new relationships with industry—and give back to their community.”