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Preparing Workers For The Real World – The Time Is Now

There’s a new curriculum being adopted by the Westchester-Putnam Workforce Development Board – based on the READI concept.  The acronym stands for Respect, Enthusiasm, Articulate, Dependable, and Initiative, and is intended to help students understand the basic “soft skills” requirements to enter the workforce and obtain better paying jobs.  Area volunteers will be trained in how to administer this curriculum, so that area youth can learn these skills.

“The feedback from our employers of the first several youths who went through the READI pilot program was very positive. Employers felt the students were properly prepared for the 6 week work experience,” says Ebony White of Business Council of Westchester, who worked to place the READI graduates. “We look forward to the program expanding and helping more READI graduates connect with employment.”

Using READI, students perfect and utilize basic yet vital skills such as giving & earning respect, striving for personal well-being, promoting self-awareness, setting goals, knowing what’s important, speaking well, listening carefully, and communicating with confidence.  They develop a positive work ethic, a problem-solving mentality, and learn to keep their emotions in check. Finally, they are given encouragement to take the initiative, overcome challenges and work towards stated goals.  Supported by Westchester and Putnam Counties, there are high hopes that the program will help build a strong future workforce for our region.

With the change in ownership of the Putnam County Courier and News & Recorder to longtime Editor Doug Cunningham, I wanted to take a moment to wish Doug well as he assumes the leadership mantle for our community newspaper, and thank Elizabeth Ailes for her steadfast support of our business community for nearly a decade.  As we enter the 240th year since Sybil Ludington’s ride and celebrate the Courier’s 175th Anniversary, we are truly blessed to have this great institution.

-Jennifer Maher, Chairwoman, the Putnam County Chamber of Commerce, “A business advocacy group”

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