NCWorks’ NEXTGEN Durham joins Made in Durham academic recovery initiative

May 21, 2018

Durham NCWorks youth training and employment program, NEXTGEN, has joined Made in Durham’s Durham Futures action team, which works to reconnect young people who are disconnected from school and help them graduate, gain a post-secondary credential and secure life-sustaining employment.

NEXTGEN Durham, offered under contract through the City of Durham’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development, provides training and development services to eligible individuals ages 16-24. It is funded by a federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act program grant and managed by Eckerd Connects, a Florida-based nonprofit that operates workforce development, children and family services, and juvenile justice programs.

NEXTGEN connects youth who are in school and out of school with career readiness, career guidance, remediation, community resources and employment and training opportunities with the goal of providing them the skills necessary to gain and retain employment, find careers that are in demand and advance in them to become self-sufficient.

“We believe NEXTGEN is an organic match and the culmination of the work currently being done by the partners of Durham Futures,” says Lorenza Wilkins, senior director of programs and operations for Made in Durham, who coordinates the work of Durham Futures. “NEXTGEN’s presence and influence in the workforce development arena is dually supportive of Made in Durham’s mission and the collaborative partnership our Durham Futures initiative.”

Made in Durham’s four program partners – Achievement Academy of Durham, Durham Public Schools’ Performance Learning Center, Durham Technical Community College’s Gateway to College program and Durham Literacy Center’s Youth Education program – currently pilot a range of academic, career and social supports to help students complete a high school credential and transition from education to career. They collectively graduate about 125 young people every year. New funding from the Oak Foundation is helping Durham Futures partners scale the program to reengage more Durham youth.

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Made in Durham is a community partnership of educators, business, government, youth-serving nonprofits and young people mobilized around a shared vision that all of Durham’s youth will complete high school and a post-secondary credential and begin a rewarding career by the age of 25.
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