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Youth Program Helps Young Adults Succeed

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MEDFORD, Ore. – As Oregon’s unemployment rate rises, young adults in our state are struggling to find jobs. People looking for job experience or help completing their GED are getting the help they need.

Despite these tough economic times a program is Jackson and Josephine County is helping them succeed. Casey Hase with the Bureau of Land Management says the past year has been great for her career.

“The job offers have been pouring in,” she says. “Just pouring in.”

But it wasn’t always that way. After years of working in customer service and food industry, Casey went through a youth program with the Job Council in Grants Pass last year.

“They put me in line with the resources that I didn’t have before. Before I had gone to through the program, job hunting was a hassle. It was an extreme hassle and it was very difficult,” Hase says.

The program helped her with public speaking, resume writing, and gave her a chance to build trails and get her foot in the door with forestry work.

“Before I know it I’m working full time, 40 hours a week and loving it,” says Hase.

Joe Anderson helps oversee the Job Council Youth Program.

“It really gives them direction and a chance to succeed,” Anderson explains.

The program has orientations in Grants Pass on Tuesdays at 10 a.m. Anderson has seen the structure really help out those ages 16- 21 wanting to gain work experience and complete their GED.

“Once they complete two GED tests, they’ll spend time on crew and in the classroom. It’s worked really well in the past, where one week they’re in the classroom and the next week they are out with a forestry crew learning skills,” says Anderson.

Hase says the program isn’t easy, but is worth the challenge.

“Be persistent,” says Hase. “It’s going to test your abilities, but stick with it, because in the end it is very rewarding.”

Jackson County’s Job Council Youth Program meets Wednesdays at 10 a.m. and offers opportunities in forestry and health care.