Programs & Services

Empowerment Project

The Empowerment Project is committed to the overall preparation of youth for their future by successfully delivering quality educational and employment opportunities. 

The Empowerment Project is funded by grants through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs.  These grants are overseen by the Wood County Department of Job and Family Services who contracts with the Wood County Educational Service Center to provide services. Empowerment Project provides services to Wood County youth age 16-24. This program is available at NO COST to youth or families who qualify. 

The Empowerment Project serves youth and young adults by assisting them in developing crucial life skills needed to be successful. We assist youth with setting and achieving educational, employment, and career goals. A wide variety of services are available including credit recovery, individual training and counseling, employment and career workshops, and opportunities for real-life employment experiences with local employers in the community.  

Eligibility may include but is not limited to:

  • Low income household
  • Youth is in foster care
  • Youth is pregnant or parenting
  • Youth is homeless
  • Youth is an offender
  • Youth has other barriers to completing high school and obtaining career

Contact one of the Empowerment Project staff to find out more!

Contacts

Judith Steiner
Empowerment Project Program Manager
(419) 354-9010 ext. 351
jsteiner@wcesc.org 

Michelle Von Lehmden
Empowerment Project Specialist
(419) 806-8329
mvonlehmden@wcesc.org 

Katie Throckmorton
Case Manager
(419) 354-9010 Ext. 303
kthrockmorton@wcesc.org 

Miranda Griffey
Case Manager
(419) 354-9010 Ext. 134
mgriffey@wcesc.org

Services Offered

Training and Leadership Opportunities

The Keys to Success program is a structured workshop offered to all of our participants. It consists of multiple sessions covering information and skills needed to survive and succeed in High School, and assistance with preparing and planning for life after High school (career, further education and training, and employment). Community service and peer-centered activities are also part of this program encouraging responsibility and other positive behaviors.

Occupational Skills Training programs that help our participants reach their career and employment goals. Examples include welding, CDL, STNA, and other occupational certificate programs.

Keys to Success Program

The goal of the Keys to Success program is to provide opportunities for youth to participate in group and one-on-one programming, focused on helping youth develop essential skills needed to plan for their future and achieve success.

For youth still in school the program will be offered at several high schools throughout Wood County. Sessions will be held weekly after school. Additional opportunities and activities will be offered on evenings and weekends throughout the school year as scheduled.

For youth not in school, sessions will be held weekly at the Wood County Educational Services Center, or other locations as needed.

Group Programming may include activities such as: 

  • Exploring career interests and opportunities
  • Finding a job
  • Writing a resume and cover letter
  • Succeeding in job interviews
  • How to be successful on the job
  • Balancing work, school, and life
  • Money management
  • Life skills and healthy choices

One-on-one sessions may include:

  • Resume writing
  • Completing job applications
  • Job interview role play
  • Career research and future planning 
  • Tutoring or academic assistance

Educational Opportunities

Correspondence courses (often called Credit Recovery) are available providing an opportunity to earn high school credits for youth who are credit deficient. We offer over 15 different courses in a wide variety of subject areas. All courses must be requested and approved by the youth’s home school district. *These courses are available to any youth even if they do not qualify for YEP services for a minimal charge of $85.00 per course.

Referral to GED Readiness programs.

Assistance in exploring Post-Secondary Education options

Employment Experience Opportunities

The Youth Work Experience Program helps prepare youth for the “World of Work” by providing work experience opportunities with local private and public employers.

  • This program allows youth to earn a stipend or wage for their time spent at a worksite. It provides an opportunity for youth to experience the work environment while developing crucial employability and life skills.
  • Community businesses and organizations can give back to their communities through participating in this program by becoming work sites. They get the benefit of valuable help with their business or organization, and provide invaluable experiences to our youth.

Support Services

Our participants are often faced with a variety of barriers and challenges that can interfere with their ability to be successful and reach their goals. We provide information and referral services to assist with these issues including parenting, child-care, transportation, housing, medical services, and mental health and substance abuse services.