Youth Employment Programs

Youth Program – Workforce Investment Act

The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Youth Program provides workforce investment activities that ensure the needs of young people are met. The target population of WIA Youth include both in-school and out-of-school, so services provided reflect the priorities of each of these unique populations.

In-school priorities include comprehensive and integrated services that promote enhanced academic achievement; successful graduation; awareness of post-secondary and technical education; work readiness; and connections to the world of work. The focus is on drop out prevention; preparation for post-secondary college or technical schools; and assistance with work related goals. These priority services are delivered in partnership with the school system in which the youth is enrolled.

Out-of-school priorities for younger youth (age 14-18) include returning the youth to school for secondary education completion; awareness of post-secondary and technical education; work readiness; and connections to the world of work. For those who are 19-21 years old, primary emphasis is on completing their secondary-education and on building connections to advanced training and/or post-secondary education tied to the completion of a WIA approved credential. For older out-of-school youth, a plan for financial self-sufficiency is the backbone of the service strategy.


You may be eligible for the youth program if you are between the ages of 14 to 21, are low income, possess barrier(s) to employment (high school dropout, disabilities, offender/ex-offenders, homeless, pregnant, basic skills deficient just to name a few); and willing to learn, complete the program, and more importantly, have the motivation to work.


The South Central Workforce Council has adopted a set of three Youth Skill Attainments. The three skill attainments are basic skills, work readiness skills and occupational skills.

Basic Skills are those skills that result in the achievement of basic education skill levels necessary for entry into the labor market. Work Readiness skills are broken down into two categories – career development and work ethic skills. Career development skills help participants choose a career, search for and obtain employment. Work ethic skills create an understanding of and the ability to respond to the basic requirements of the work environment. Occupational skills training will prepare participants to meet the entry level or specific skills relative to their possible occupational goals.

The program also provides opportunities for classroom training, on-the-job training, worksite training and support services in order to enhance the youth’s employability and opportunities for post-program participation.

Additional Information
For additional information on the WIA adult program contact:

  • Opportunities Industrialization Center (OIC) – Kittitas and Yakima Counties
    • Yakima (509) 248-6751
  • Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic – Northwest Community Action Council – Yakima County
    • Toppenish (509) 865-7630
  • People For People – Klickitat and Skamania Counties
    • Goldendale (509) 773-5503
    • White Salmon (509) 493-1210
    • Stevenson (509) 427-4464

Additional Resources

Basic Health (Health care insurance for low income individuals or families) To apply, contact: 1-800-660-9840
Working Connections Child Care (Help with child care costs) To apply, contact: 1-800-446-1114
Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) To apply, contact: 1-877-KIDS-NOW
ECEAP (Subsidized programs for infant, toddlers, and preschoolers) To apply, contact: 360-725-2830
Housing Assistance To apply, contact: 1-800-955-2232
Food Stamps To apply, contact: 1-877-980-9140
Head Start (For children 3-5 years old) To apply, contact: 360-725-2830
Medicaid (Social and health services for low income individuals or families) To apply, contact: 1-800-562-3022
Utility Assistance (LIHEAP) (Help with heating and electricity bills for low income individuals and families) To apply, contact: 360-725-2866

Parent Help 1-2-3 (Information on food and health resources )


Helpful Links

Workforce Development Councils:

Washington Information Network (WIN) 211:

Families Northwest:


Northwest Community Action Council:

Washington Career Bridge :