Left to right: Mrs. Karen Boyette, Potomac Job Corps Center Career and Technical Education Coordinator, Mr. Edgar Reese, Center Business Community Liaison, Mr. Jeffrey Barton, Center Director, EEOC Vice Chair Naomi Earp, and Mr. Andre Ortiz, Center Student Government President.
WASHINGTON - On May 31, 2006, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Potomac Job Corps Center, operated by Eagle Group International, launched an important partnership effort to raise awareness about workplace discrimination and harassment issues affecting young workers. The new alliance is part of the EEOC's Youth@Work initiative, a national outreach and information campaign to educate teenagers about their employment rights and responsibilities.
Noting that Job Corps centers nationwide train 65,000 young people to enter the workforce each year, EEOC Vice Chair Naomi C. Earp, whose office is leading the Youth@Work initiative, said: "We commend the Potomac Job Corps Center for recognizing the value of educating their students about equal employment opportunity before they enter the workforce. By emphasizing respectful workplace interactions early and often, we expect our next generation of workers to carry this information with them throughout their professional careers."
Job Corps is a free education and training program administered by the United States Department of Labor that helps disadvantaged youth ages 16 to 24 learn a trade, earn a high school diploma or GED, and find and keep a good job. The Potomac Job Corps Center, located in Washington, D.C., trains more than 700 students each year in careers such as bricklaying, landscaping, carpentry, painting, masonry, facilities management, food service, and business technologies.
"This is the beginning of a fruitful partnership, to ensure that the students of all Job Corps Centers are aware of workplace rights," said Jeffrey Barton, Potomac Job Corps Center Director.
Among the activities the EEOC and its newest Youth@Work partner hope to engage in are:
- educating Center students about their workplace rights and responsibilities through regular classroom training about equal employment opportunity;
- training employers that work with the Center about the federal anti-discrimination laws; and
- assisting the Center's Student Government Association in developing a training module on workplace equal employment opportunity principles.
In addition to seeking partnerships with the public and private sector, the two other main components of the EEOC's Youth@Work initiative are: a new youth web site at http://youth.eeoc.gov dedicated to educating young workers about their equal employment opportunity rights and responsibilities; and a series of free national outreach events by EEOC Commissioners and field office staff for high school students, youth organizations, educators, and small businesses who employ young workers. Employers or organizations interested in forming Youth@Work partnerships with the EEOC should e-mail the organization's name, address, telephone number, and email address to: Youth.AtWork@eeoc.gov.
The EEOC is the federal government agency responsible for enforcing the nation's anti-discrimination laws in employment based on race, color, sex, religion, national origin, retaliation, age and disability. Further information about the Commission is available on the agency's web site at www.eeoc.gov.