Populations Served: In-School Youth, Out-of-School Youth
EDSI operates a number of programs for youth ages 18-24 who are in school and out of school.
EDSI Chicago ServiceWorks operates summer and year-round youth programs. The year-round program is a comprehensive work-based learning program for out-of-school youth with an interest in the Hospitality sector. The program is organized around the 10 Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Youth Elements and presents occupational, work maturity, basic and career skills in a comprehensive program that also addresses the participants’ physical, social and psychological needs through leadership and mentoring activities. Youth receive training to prepare them to achieve the National Retail Federation Foundation Customer Service Certification and the ServSafe Food and Sanitation Certification.
A summer program targeting hard-to-serve youth whose households receive public assistance, are basic skills deficient, parenting teens, gang-affiliated, non-custodial fathers of children in low-income households, foster children, youth with disabilities or youth with limited English proficiency. Youth complete the Illinois WorkNet Work Readiness training and the ServiceWorks Customer Service Training.
EDSI also provides out-of-school youth services in the Raleigh, North Carolina area.
Helping Today’s Youth
In 2012, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the rate of unemployment among young people under 25 was 16%. Without prior work experience, it is difficult for youth to obtain employment. We spent some time with unemployed youth listening to their needs and trying to see through their eyes.