The City of Gretna held its regular monthly commission meeting on May 4, during which the Gretna commissioners were presented with a summer program for students to receive “industrial recognized credentials” to be successful in learning soft skills, specialized skills, and becoming certified in their field of choice.
Chairwoman Sherita Bush Moore introduced the program as a new youth initiative that will encourage training and hiring of Gretna youth by municipalities.
The goal of this program is to encourage municipalities to join as stakeholders and sponsor students.
The program was announced online to Gretna constituents on May 3 and applications for the summer program will be open from May 17 through May 31.
“Before, we had youth working in the summer,” Moore says. “We don’t want that anymore, we want them to have permanent jobs.”
Target applicants are students between the age of 17-19 years-old, because of that age group’s ability to receive a job after completing the provided training.
The program has already received partnerships from Tallahassee Community College, the Gadsden County School District, and multiple businesses in the surrounding area.
Municipalities can engage in the program by sponsoring students by covering stipends and wages at an average cost of $1,200 per student, and by providing learning sites for students to become certified.
While Gretna will be taking part in the program, it is not exclusive to that municipality; other Gadsden County towns that have stepped forward to offer the program are Havana and Quincy.
“This should not just be Gadsden County, we should all work together,” Moore says.
Congressman Al Lawson attended the commission meeting during his congressional work week to discuss the summer training program, incoming stimulus aid, vaccinations, and infrastructure updates.
“One thing I’m proud of is that over the past year with this virus we’ve been able to bring money down to individuals,” Lawson said, adding that he believed the legislature has brought $12 million ro residents throughout several Florida counties.
Lawson also expressed his support for the summer training program.
“We have to provide as much as we can for the youth because they are our future,” Lawson said.
In addition, the congressman has opened a scholarship program for students in Gadsden County who are attending Florida A&M University.
The deadline for the commission’s commitment to the program is May 17.
Alaijah Brown – Mail@gadsdencountynews.com