Cobb County youth now have access to a new program designed to help advance their academic skill level, prepare them to earn a GED credential, and provide them with crucial work-readiness skills. Offered through CobbWorks, the workforce development agency for Cobb County funded through the Workforce Investment Act, and in partnership with Paxen Learning Corporation, the needs-based program serves local out-of-school youth ages 17 to 21 who typically face economic or social barriers to academic and employment opportunities.

Nearly 40 youth have already completed the program since its launch in March and another 60 are anticipated to do so before the end of the year. As a sign of the need and anticipation for this type of skills-building program in Cobb County, classes have been filling up quickly and demand continues.

“We appreciate the opportunity to work closely with CobbWorks in an effort to help these young people create new, positive opportunities for themselves,” said Carley Huguley, Paxen’s state director in Georgia. “The program provides participants with the skills and confidence they need to advance into meaningful employment or post-secondary education opportunities.”

The program, which is delivered in five-week sessions, is free to eligible participants who also can earn incentives for reaching specific goals and completing specific milestones. The program also covers the fees for participants to take the GED Tests®.

“The program team supported and motivated me to earn my GED and set a clear direction to achieve my career goals,” said recent program graduate Christopher Panton. “I can’t say enough about the tremendous encouragement I received and the positive impact it has had on my life,” said Panton, who is currently working as a youth counselor thanks to his participation in the work experience component of the program. He is interested in eventually transitioning into a career in the criminal justice field.

The accelerated GED Tests preparation component features Paxen’s highly successful GED Prep Xcelerator curriculum, which routinely delivers results far above the national average. It emphasizes mastery in each of the five subject areas—Reading, Writing, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies—that together comprise the GED Tests. Program staff collaborates closely with youth to identify areas of need, customize instruction, monitor progress, and assist in scheduling participants to take the GED Tests.

Following the GED preparation component, participants take part in an exciting work-readiness session. Youth are placed with pre-determined employers and perform specific job duties under appropriate supervision. The participants learn valuable employability skills with local organizations such as The Salvation Army, Camp Friends, Subway, and McDonald’s.

“It’s inspiring to see the excitement in their eyes as these young people develop their skills and build their self-confidence,” explained Ms. Huguley. “Our goal is to help prepare these youth for the workforce or along a path toward postsecondary education so that they can create new opportunities for themselves.”

Paxen delivers several work-readiness, academic, and life skills programs throughout Georgia at sites in Athens, Savannah, Brunswick, Americus, Valdosta, Griffin, and numerous other counties throughout the state. In this effort, the company typically partners with local workforce organizations, school systems, family and children organizations, and employers to deliver these results-driven youth and adult programs.

For more information and to register for the youth program in Cobb County, please contact Veronica Bedford at 678-303-4429 or by email at [email protected]