This original project enables high-risk youth to get a taste of working life, gain confidence and learn new skills. The aim is to reduce youth delinquency and strengthen social inclusion.
In New Orleans, more than half of working-age African American men are unemployed. Our dollars are going towards Youth Empowerment Project (YEP), which aims to reduce delinquency and strengthen social inclusion. The Work and Learn Center (W&L) imparts vocational training and increases self-esteem through the recognition and ‘marketability’ of young adults’ work.
We’re thrilled to see that graduates are finding formal employment upon programme completion – 41 in phase 1. Others have done internships with local businesses. In addition, Design Works, YEP`s creative digital media studio, has opened and produced branding and marketing campaigns for local companies. Another new hot opening is Thrift Works, a youth-run retail resale shop, where pre-loved clothes and goods are sold, while staff sharpen their customer service skills.
Brice White, Trafigura Foundation Work & Learn Center Programme Director, says, “In 2016, our Center expanded into two new businesses and connected a record number of young people to jobs and educational opportunities in New Orleans. Our long-term partnership with Trafigura Foundation has allowed us to constantly improve our job training programme, to adapt to new career paths, and to consistently deliver the highest quality services to young people. The support and leadership shown by Trafigura Foundation has given us the resources to do our job the most effectively and we look forward to continuing through 2017 and beyond.”