The Workforce Investment Act provides support for youth with barriers to employment. An eligible student is age 14 through 21 from a low income family with needs support in one or more of the following categories:
- Deficient in basic literacy skills
- School dropout
- Homeless, runaway, or foster child
- Pregnant or parenting
- Individuals with a disability or cultural barrier to employment
Each student is enrolled for year-round support in the work experience component.
The New Mexico Workforce Connection Center (NMWCC) provides job placement and training to individuals, including all youth, in Union, Harding, Quay, Guadalupe, Curry, Roosevelt, DeBaca, Chaves, Eddy, Lea, Otero, and Lincoln Counties. The NMWCC provides access to the services of many agencies and programs in the same facility through interagency cooperation, communication, coordination, and support. One-Stop Centers are required under WIA to coordinate youth activities, link youth to job markets and employers, and to provide information and service access to eligible youth.
Traditionally, this program has served about 40-50 students during the school year in the Eastern Workforce Area through employment skill training. The program provides a limited number of students, ages 16 through 21, with valuable work experience during their high school years so they are prepared to enter the workforce upon graduation from school. Strong linkages are made with local employers, the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions, and local post secondary educational institutions.
The program assists qualified young people entering an occupation to learn employment skills. The program is designed for youth between the ages of 18 and 22 who have exited public schools without a diploma or have graduated with a diploma or GED and are having difficulty obtaining employment. Such students must have basic skill deficiencies and be underemployed or unemployed. Participants may work in a chosen career field after intake and assessment in the program. Local employers provide a combination of hands-on experience and classroom training. The program may also provide funding for formal classroom training, special tools, clothing, or equipment.
Region IX - Youth Services
New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions - Youth Services
Work Permits for Youth 15 years or younger