High school graduates in New Hampshire now have greater access to postgraduation job resources, thanks to a new state program.
The Youth Employment Services, or YES, project was launched last month by the New Hampshire Department of Employment Security. According to the department’s commissioner, Richard S. Brothers, nearly every high school in the state is interested in participating.
“It’s the department’s way of going after a market that hasn’t been served,” Mr. Brothers said. He estimated that 20 percent of his state’s high school graduates don’t enter college or the military immediately after graduating.
YES sends counselors into high schools to make students aware of job opportunities that are available to high school graduates. Students may attend workshops teaching them interviewing skills, for example, or learn about entry-level career opportunities.
Students are also welcome to visit the department’s 13 offices around the state. Job counselors, libraries, and computer labs with job-search databases are available in the offices, and students can learn how to use the project’s Web site from their home computers.
Although the jobs are for graduates, the YES project also targets high school freshmen, encouraging them to stay in school by showing them what’s available to someone with a diploma.
“The real problem is kids who drop out of high school,” Mr. Brothers said. “We want to start with freshmen and sophomores. We let them know if you drop out of high school, your future is pretty bleak.”
According to Mr. Brothers, school administrators have encouraged the project. “I’ve been impressed by how supportive guidance counselors are,” he said.
Cathe A. Roche, the career-center coordinator at Pembroke Academy, a 1,045-student public high school in Pembroke, N.H., is one such proponent of the program. She said she referred three of her students to the program within a week of hearing about YES.
“For some kids, it’s a perfect fit,” she said. “They need someone to oversee the [job-search] process, and that office has an awful lot of resources.”
Mr. Brothers tells students “not to look at our buildings as the unemployment office, but to think of us as the job store or the career mall.”