New Castle – New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer announced a new partnership with Ferris School to hire youth residents through the New Castle County Youth Employment Program. This new initiative expands the New Castle County Department of Community Services (NCC DCS) Youth Workforce Development Program (YWDP) by providing employment opportunities and job training skills for youth sentenced to secure rehabilitation at Ferris School.
In order to participate in onsite employment opportunities, the youth must meet specific behavioral standards and be approved by the Ferris School Administration. This new partnership has the commitment by the Ferris School, as a worksite partner, to work closely with the YWDP to provide career exposure, onsite and virtual professional development, and mentoring to prepare the youth for future employment opportunities.
“With this program, we are fostering a groundbreaking collaboration,” said County Executive Matt Meyer. “By integrating the youth from Ferris School into our Youth Workforce Development Program, we’re not just molding future leaders; we’re demonstrating that rehabilitation is a community effort and forging a path toward excellent communities for our youth.”
“The Division is appreciative of the opportunity presented to us by New Castle County to facilitate the Workforce Development Program at Ferris School,” said Division of Youth Rehabilitative Services Director Renee Ciconte. “By participation, our youth will gain valuable skills to support employment opportunities as they transition from Ferris School into the community.”
This new initiative working with youth who are incarcerated supports the YWDP goal to provide meaningful workforce development experiences to targeted youth populations. YWDP will provide remote soft skills training to the youth that will promote success in current and future employment.
The youth receive orientation and professional development training, which includes NCC Human Resources mandatory training (Policies and Procedures, ethics, sexual harassment, and workplace etiquette), customer service, effective communication, time sheets/paycheck, financial literacy, career exploration and planning, resume, interviewing, etc. Youth will earn the County minimum wage of $12.50 per hour. These funds will remain at Ferris until the youth are released, at which time they will have personal funds for reentry into the community.
The New Castle County Department of Community Services has successful administered the Youth Workforce Development Program for over 20 years. Providing services and programs to youth is an essential function of the Division of Community Resources. The Division has extensive experience in providing services to youth starting at a young age. The Division continuously connects children, teens, and older youth to many NCC programs, i.e., Safety Town, Summer Camps, After-School-Programs, Youth and High School Sports, and Youth Employment. These positive interactions provide youth access and experiences to various opportunities.
Ferris School is a secure care, American Correctional Association ACA accredited treatment facility providing services for up to 72 court committed youth, ages 13 to 18. Youth committed to Ferris are identified as serious and/or chronic repeat offenders who pose a risk to themselves or others and require intensive rehabilitative treatment. Programming is individualized and prescriptive to meet the needs of the youth. Youth programming includes drug and alcohol treatment, conflict resolution, aggression replacement training, violence and gun violence prevention, victim sensitivity, and youth mentoring services.