OUR COMMUNITY PARTNERS
Workforce Development Program
LifeWorks transitions youth and families from crisis to safety and success. Providing a comprehensive safety net of services in Austin, LifeWorks serves 10,000+ individuals annually through 13 programs. Services include outreach & housing for homeless youth, Youth/Adult Counseling, Youth Development, GED, Youth Resource Center, and programs addressing the needs of foster care youth.
Lifeworks' Workforce Development Program targets youth who have been emancipated out of foster care and are at risk for joblessness, homelessness and/or incarceration.
The Impact Austin grant will fund expansion of the program to an additional 45 youths per year. The program is divided into five stages: 1. Orientation, Screening and Assessment, 2. Social/Emotional Readiness, 3. Skill Development, 4. Placement/Internship and 5. Transition. The goal of this initiative is to break the cycle of youth moving from foster care to adult social services by assisting youth ages 16-24 in becoming self-sufficient with the ability to seek and maintain employment, sustain housing and cope with the challenges of daily adult life in a responsible manner.
LifeWorks significantly exceeded their goal of the number of participants in the program with over 222 foster and high-risk youth enrolling during the grant period. The program was one session short of completing its goal for number of sessions provided over two years as it experienced difficulty with getting youth to commit to long-term training sessions. As a result, LifeWorks transitioned to more individualized job placement services.
The grant from Impact Austin developed LifeWorks’ understanding of how to assist foster youth with finding employment and has made employment services a strategic goal for the Board of Governors and the agency as a whole. The target population has benefited from the program because they were given life and employment skills that they can use throughout their lifetime. In addition, several youth were able to find positions and keep them for longer periods than they ever had in the past; and some youth advanced in their positions, allowing them to make higher wages.