The Shelby County Department of Job and Family Services, in partnership with JobWorks, Inc., offers a comprehensive case management and employment program (CCMEP) for individuals who are ages 14 – 24. This program was recently rebranded as xSAIL- Succeed. Achieve. Innovate. Learn. xSAIL is designed for youth who are ready to make a change in their lives. The program helps participants overcome challenges that may be keeping them from finishing their education or gaining employment.
Through a variety of assessments, Case Managers help youth identify their educational and/or employment goals. An individualized plan is developed with the youth and includes activities that will progress the participant towards goal attainment
Some of the activities within xSAIL are obtaining a high school diploma or GED, paid and unpaid work experiences to gain employability skills, occupational skills training, such as, CDL, STNA, LPN, and welding, comprehensive career guidance and counseling, and opportunities for continuing education. There is also a follow-up piece of this program that provides support to ensure the success of the participant, by maintaining their employment, after they finish the program.
Participants currently enrolled in the program have accepted positions in their field that have provided an increase in income. One participant is working on completing testing to earn her GED. Another youth received her dental assistant certificate. And in the past few weeks, four additional students have enrolled in nursing, welding, and CDL training.
One of the program’s greatest success stories is of a couple who entered the program together facing many challenges. They had applied for public assistance and were referred to the program. While participating and completing their activities, they received supportive services, such as help with paying for childcare, that allowed them to go to school and work. While in the program, she obtained her GED, completed training as a police officer, and is now employed as a School Resource Officer. He earned his Associates Degree and works full time in an IT position. They achieved a level of self-sufficiency they never thought possible and because of this were able to get married and purchase a home.
With the new branding of the xSAIL program, the goal is to encourage youth to use the mobile app to inquire about the program and possible eligibility. The app can be accessed through a Q code and the website URL at https://hipaa.jotform.com/app/220473742396157.
With the implementation of the new app and website, participants can inquire about eligibility, request services, update their progress and goals, and make referrals. The goal is to encourage youth to take more initiative in achieving their goals and reach out for services when needed.
For more information on how to participate in the program or for additional information, contact Jessica Aufderhaar at 937-498-4981 ext. 2884.
The writer is an employment specialist with the Shelby County Department of Job and Family Services.