Ohio Education Department Awards Chamber $200,000

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber has been awarded a $200,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Education so the chamber can extend its school mentorship program to Warren City Schools, the chamber announced Monday.

The program, called “Community Connectors,” is directed at juniors and seniors in high school and would make them better prepared to enter the workforce, a chamber spokeswoman says, by providing opportunities in the business community as interns and externs. The program would also provide job shadowing, that is, allow students to follow and watch people at their jobs.

The grant was awarded based on the “great success” of Community Connectors in Youngstown City Schools last year, said Nick Santucci, manager of education and workforce development at the chamber. The initial expectation at the chamber was 100 students in Youngstown would participate; more than 130 did, he noted.

To be eligible, an 11th- or 12th-grader must have a GPA or 2.0 or better and be recommended by a teacher to learn “soft skills” and be placed as interns or externs and assigned a mentor.

Soft skills include writing a resume, learning how to behave during a job interview, managing their time and appropriate dress in the workplace.

Supporting the chamber’s application were Youngstown State University, the Trumbull campus of Kent State University, Eastern Gateway Community College, Choffin Career & Technical Center/Youngstown City Schools Teen Straight Talk and the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.