Youth Connect

Youth Connect provides guidance, support, financial assistance with
vocational and academic training, work readiness and job placement services to low income youth.
Who Qualifies

Program eligibility includes economically disadvantaged youth and persons with disabilities between the ages of 16 and 24 who have dropped out of school, are ex-offenders, in foster care, homeless, pregnant or parenting, unemployed or underemployed and/or are basic-skills deficient (must qualify as low income).

How Can Youth Connect Help

Youth Connect is designed to provide services and resources aimed at helping youth to enroll and successfully complete academic or vocational training programs, develop leadership skills, prepare to enroll in post-secondary education or to enter employment.​

We provide academic and career assessment, counseling, assistance with developing a career plan and on-going support. Eligible youth will participate in work readiness activities as well as gain work experience and job-related skills. Based on initial needs, customers may also qualify to receive help with training-related costs and other support services.

Contact

Contact any of the Youth Coordinators for more information or stop by any CareerSource Pinellas center. General information can be found by calling (727) 524-4344.

For Pinellas County GED information, please contact Kim Hall, Youth Career Coordinator, (727) 400-1462 or pcs.hallk@pcsb.org
For South Pinellas County training information, please contact Naomi Atanacio, Youth Career Coordinator, (727) 470-7565 or pcs.atanacion@pcsb.org
For North Pinellas County training information, please contact Kermara Robillard, Youth Career Coordinator, (727) 420-9532 or pcs.robillardk@pcsb.org

General Resources

Youth Connect strives to promote growth in each individual’s educational, personal, social and employability skills. Career and educational guidance and counseling services are provided by Youth Coordinators. Students can also be referred to the partnering agencies if additional professional counseling or therapies are needed.

Our goal is to ensure our students are receiving the most appropriate and effective services to meet their educational and employment goals. Staff provides ongoing service coordination, monitoring and support throughout program participation.

The Youth Connect program has partnered with the Career Education Services at Pinellas County Schools and will assist youth, who have not been successful in traditional education programs, to enroll in Adult Education Centers and to receive their  GED or high school diplomas.

Youth Connect provides a broad set of activities that encourages responsibility, employment, teamwork, decision making, citizenship and self-esteem building. Types of the leadership development opportunities include: Work Readiness and Life Skills workshops, with the emphasis on work behavior, budgeting, time management and parenting; exposure to post-secondary educational opportunities; and community volunteering.

The 8-Hour Employability Skills Workshop includes the following topics:

  • Interview questions and inactive interviewing
  • Dressing for the job interviews
  • Assistance with resumes and cover letters
  • Computer-based employment search
  • Follow up assistance with the interview process

Also, one-on-one resume and interview preparation assistance are available.

Youth Connect provides a wide variety of training, including: technical or vocational training that will lead to attainment of an educational diploma or certificate; occupational license or industry-recognized certification training; pre-apprenticeship training that will prepare individuals for extensive apprenticeship training; or internship opportunities specific to in-demand industries and local companies.

Paid Work Experience (PWE) is available through Youth Connect to help eligible youth explore the world of work and its  related requirements plus aims to develop work-readiness skills. The best part -each participant is earning wages the whole time!

Available supportive services include, but are not limited to, the cost of GED exams or industry certifications, transportation, work attire or uniforms, tools and/or medical and drug screening. Supportive services are provided to Youth Connect program participants in efforts to remove or reduce barriers that prevent them from successfully completing their training activities or securing employment.

Youth Connect offers many services to assist its members in attaining a job, including structured pre-employment skills training, individualized job and life skills counseling, resume writing assistance, mock interviews, job referrals, mentoring and follow up services. Our staff is also working with local employers to pre-screen possible candidates and facilitate referrals of qualified applicants.