Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sens. Gillibrand, Sanders, Udall Join Brown in Bill to Amend WIA to Assist States and Local Communities to Increase Youth Corps Programs

Sens. Gillibrand, Sanders, Udall Join Brown in Bill to Amend WIA to Assist States and Local Communities to Increase Youth Corps Programs; ProgressOhio

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today introduced legislation that would expand Youth Corps programs throughout the nation. The Youth Corps Act of 2010, cosponsored by Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Tom Udall (D-NM), will amend the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) to establish a competitive grant program to assist states and local communities in replicating and expanding Youth Corps Programs.

"This is about turning today's students into tomorrow's leaders," Brown said. "This program will build stronger communities, while preparing our young people for the jobs of the 21st century. All Ohio students deserve the opportunity to get ahead."

"We can prepare youth to become productive members of our communities by giving them the support and guidance they need to thrive," said Udall. "By expanding Youth Corps programs nationwide we are building on proven methods of preparing America's future workforce."

The core components of the Youth Corps model include:

• opportunities for educational advancement, including secondary school completion and preparation for postsecondary education;
• work experience, skills training, and career counseling;
• collaboration with other youth serving systems, such as child welfare and juvenile justice, to provide and coordinate support services for vulnerable youth;
• partnerships with local workforce and education systems, including labor, employers, postsecondary institutions, and community-based organizations, to develop pathways to postsecondary and labor market success; and
• post-program support.

The grants, awarded to states and municipalities, will be awarded for a period of three years with an option for renewal. In the Youth Corps model, adult leaders serve as mentors and guide crews of 8-12 Corps members as they gain the paid work experience and learn the skills that are essential to the development of a strong work ethic and success in the workplace. Corps members also receive a living allowance, classroom instruction to improve basic academic competencies, complete high school, and prepare for postsecondary education, and a wide range of supportive services. Additionally, they participate in technical skills training and leadership development.

Ohio is currently home to several youth corps program including:
• City Year Cleveland
• City Year Columbus
• Ohio Division of Forestry
• Ohio Woodlands Job Cops
• WSOS Quitter Conservation Corps

Comment: I spotted this news article this morning on the Ohio Freedom Alliance discussion group and thought it was equally as alarming as those in the group.

This is a dangerous and I have to question why the federal government continues on this path creating "youth corps." Historically I think we can all say that such actions have been exclusively affiliated with totalitarian states.

Without a doubt this future legislation proves the necessity to repeal the 17th Amendment.

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