A young-adult employment and training program operated by the Spokane Area Workforce Development Council soon will move from its space in WorkSource Spokane's offices to larger quarters next door.
Dawn Karber, interim assistant director of work-force operations for the council, says that the program, called Next Generation Zone, has outgrown its space in the WorkSource building, at 130 S. Arthur, and will have than twice as much space in 7,500 square feet in two leased suites in a neighboring building, at 901 E. Second. It plans to move in mid-January, following landlord-provided improvements there that are being done by Construction Associates of Spokane Inc.
The program has served about 3,000 young adults in the last year, offering services including courses to help high school dropouts get their general equivalency diplomas (GEDs), one-on-one career and education counseling, and paid work experience for disadvantaged young adults. It offers classes on job-related topics and general assistance such as resume help to youths in the target age range of 16 to 21, although one-on-one services generally are limited to disadvantaged young adults, Karber says.
"We are trying to target young adults who have dropped out of high school and connect them with education opportunities," she says.
The new location will include a GED center, a computer lab, and a large conference room for employer events and large-group classes, as well as office space for the 17 people who staff the center.
Along with 12 staff members whose salaries are paid through the Workforce Development Council, five other staff members paid by other members of the consortium will work at the new location. The consortium includes Goodwill Industries of the Inland Northwest, Community Colleges of Spokane, Northeast Washington Educational Service District 101, and Career Path Services.
The Spokane Area Workforce Development Council is a joint city of Spokane and Spokane County consortium, and its staff members are city employees. Its program funding comes primarily from the Washington state Department of Labor.
WorkSource Spokane plans to hire additional staff members and fill the space that the Next Generation Zone will vacate.
Craig Soerhen, of Spokane-based Kiemle & Hagood, handled the lease of the new space, Karber says.
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