Recently, Hampden County legislators were invited to listen and engage with youth providers, young people and employers around workforce development and state funded youth programs by the Regional Employment Board of Hampden County. This round table discussion let young people voice their struggles to their legislators.
State Representative Aaron Vega (D-Holyoke), who has visited the YouthBuild program, told the audience that we can no longer work in silos and to be more collaborative inter-agency or by region.
Members of the YWCA YouthBuild Springfield program participated in this event that focused on connecting youth with career opportunities. This was a chance for legislators to get to know youth providers and the youth in the programs and gain an understanding of their needs.
The challenges in finding employment as youth was one of the topics that was discussed.
A very important subject that was also discussed was, "How funding from the state can help with increased with internship and job opportunities for youth." The legislators were very receptive to the ideas that they hearing, that will help to guide them when they return to the State House.
The students from YWCA YouthBuild Springfield learned an important lesson in leadership and came to the realization that their voices can be heard.