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EDC Workforce Division hands "KEYS' to the Future to 16 Graduates

Yesterday, the Workforce Services Division of the Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation held its 9th Annual KEYS (Knowledge Equals Youth Success) Graduation and Employment Awards Recognition Ceremony at Martin’s Crosswinds in Greenbelt, MD.  Pictured (above) with EDC President and CEO Jim Coleman are several of the graduates and honorees. Sixteen of the more than 200 students participating in the program on an annual basis graduated yesterday.  The ceremony recognized the graduates, as well as the youth who are still in the program and making significant contributions to their community.  In addition, the event recognized the job trainers and employers who work diligently with the youth all year long. 

“We are very proud of each of you in this room today and I fully expect you to go out and do great things,” said EDC President Jim Coleman.  “With the support of the EDC and the training experiences you have received through the KEYS program, I am confident that the inventor of the next “Google” or “Facebook” is in this room. Make the best of what you have been given and never give up on anything.”  

The KEYS program is one of several youth service programs designed to prepare youth for life after high school. The services offered under KEYS program are offered year-round and designed to keep youth on track and meeting their goal of achieving a high-school diploma and moving on to college, occupational skills training, and/or employment.  Funded through the federal Workforce Investment Act, the program offers work readiness training, employability skills, job retention and remediation in math and reading.  In addition, youth participate in a 20-40 hour paid internship, followed by 12 months of follow-up services and assistance for placement in permanent jobs, training programs and educational opportunities.

Former KEYS graduate Triauna Hall gave an inspiring testimonial on how the program positively impacted her life.  “Prior to the program, I was just living life.  Through the help I was given from the job trainers and mentors in the KEYS program, I now know how to dress professionally, have a much better work ethic and more confident to do what my job requires of me.”

For more information on our Workforce Services Division Youth Programs, visit www.pgcedc.com or contact Liz Williams (elwilliams1@co.pg.md.us) at 301-618-8400.