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Wilmington’s West End awarded grant for employment training

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The Citi Foundation’s Youth Workforce Fund has awarded a $250,000 grant to New Castle County and the West End Neighborhood House in Wilmington.

The grant is part of a $4 million national initiative to expand employment opportunities in promising fields, such as robotics, culinary arts and coding.

The West End Neighborhood House, a social services agency, will use the grant to build on its existing career path programs. That includes industry-specific job training, job placement opportunities and career path exploration.

New Castle County will use the money for its 2018 Summer Youth Employment program, which provides a mix of job training

“Preparing young people for the workforce and reducing the high rate of youth unemployment are pressing challenges that Delaware’s public, private and non-profit sectors are working hard to address,” New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer said.

New Castle County will support its 2018 Summer Youth Employment program, which provides job training, paid summer jobs, and counseling.

The combined efforts will provide employment services to more than 150 young people ages 16-24.

“We believe that having a job can solve 80 percent of young peoples’ social and economic problems,” said Paul Calistro, executive director of West End. “Youth in Delaware ages 16-24 are unemployed at nearly three times the rate of adults 25 and older. Long-term employment depends on experience, but you need a job to get that experience.”

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