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Trident Workforce Investment Board

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Palmetto Youth Connections Celebration of Achievement Ceremony

Charleston, SC, July 24, 2008 --( Friends, family, and supporters gathered at the Trident One Stop Career Center to congratulate and share in a celebration of the accomplishments of youth in the Palmetto Youth Connections (PYC) program, a program for out-of-school youth aged 16-21 funded by the Trident Workforce Investment Board (TWIB) with Workforce Investment Act funds.

Kal Kunkel, Region Director of Henkels and McCoy which oversees the program, and Paul L. Connerty, TWIB Executive Director, welcomed attendees and congratulated the students on their accomplishments. “You have exceeded our expectations,” said Connerty who also acknowledged the importance of the support from the students’ families and encouraged the students to “avail themselves of all the opportunities available to you as you advance in your careers.”

Jan Cappellini, Chair of the TWIB Youth Council, also “thanked the graduates for the commitment and dedication” in reaching this “significant milestone in their life’s journey.” She also encouraged them to “remember the sky is the limit and you have already proven your ability to succeed.” She ended with “we are all very proud of your achievements and applaud you for your willingness and desire to overcome the many obstacles that you have faced. Feel good about what you have done . . . work hard and make the right choices.”

Keynote speaker Waverly Pinckney, Teachers Assistant for the Charleston County School District, gave an inspirational and motivational speech in which he urged the students to dream. “The first step on the road to great achievement begins with your ability to dream. One of the great tragedy’s of life is that too many young people no longer dream. Too often they focus on what they think they cannot do, instead of what they can learn to do.”

The theme of “dream” was further illustrated musically by violinist Daniel Davis, who emotionally played an interpretive accompaniment to parts of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I have a Dream” speech, as well as to other musical selections.

In the past year, over 1,400 young adults attended Palmetto Youth Connections orientations; over 1,085 young adults were assessed; more than 512 submitted completed applications; and 305 enrolled in the Palmetto Youth Connections program.

Palmetto Youth Connection’s success is the result of the committed partners including: the Trident Workforce Investment Board; the Trident One-Stop Career Center System, Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester Adult Education; Communities in Schools; City of Charleston Office of Families, Youth, and Children; SC Employment Security Commission; Job Corps; Telamon; Trident Technical College; and SC Vocational Rehabilitation.

To learn more about Palmetto Youth Connections call 843-574-1897 or visit The Trident One-Stop Career Center at 1930 Hanahan Road in North Charleston. Palmetto Youth Connections Career Coaches are also located at the satellite One Stop Centers in Moncks Corner, Summerville, and Charleston.

Contact Information
Trident Workforce Investment Board
SUsan Jeanne Mertz

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