According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, about two-thirds of high school graduates from the class of 2013 enrolled in college, 42% pursued 4-year degrees, and 24% enrolled in 2-year schools. Of the remaining one-third who opted not to go to college, 74% entered the labor force.
Wages are typically higher and unemployment rates lower for people who continue their education after high school.
What many people overlook is that aside from a four-year degree, education can take the form of internships, on-the-job-training, vocational schools, apprenticeships, or certifications.
Locally, the Hampton Roads Workforce Council is a great resource for teens who are pursuing employment directly after high school.
A program of the Hampton Roads Workforce Council, NextGen prepares the emerging workforce for meaningful and successful occupations of the future. NextGen participates in the Youth Career Center of Hampton Roads and in in-school and out-of-school year-round programs. The program is designed for ages 14-24 to help participants learn workforce readiness and the academic skills necessary to reach their career goals.
Next Gen’s programs include the Youth Career Center of Hampton Roads, NextGen Opportunity Fair, the NextGen Regional Internship Program and the Career Guidance Academy.
The Youth Career Center provides career exploration, job preparation and financial literacy education to youth living in Chesapeake, Franklin, Isle of Wight County, Portsmouth, Norfolk, Southampton County, Suffolk and Virginia Beach.
NextGen recently held its Opportunity Fair for teens and young adults ages 16-24 at the Chesapeake Conference Center. More than 95 vendors attended and 400 youth came to learn about employment, volunteer and post-secondary education opportunities in the region.
NextGen's Regional Internship Program is now in its second year. Applicants are matched up with their interests, interview, and are then provided an opportunity to intern in a variety of industries in this nine-week paid program. The program currently supports residents of Portsmouth and Chesapeake, ages 16 to 21.
For more information about NextGen and the resources available to help successfully match youth to employment opportunities, visit the Hampton Roads Workforce Council website.