The Salem Chamber and partners of the Career Achievement Network team have invested in the lives of just over 100 youth, helping them get closer to becoming ready to enter the workforce.

By partnering with businesses throughout the region, work experience opportunities have been provided for 102 young adults, most of whom have no previous work experience.

But more than job readiness, the program is offering hope. “It’s been an uphill battle to engage the disengaged,” said JD Shinn, business liaison for the program at the Salem Chamber. “It is exciting and heart-warming to see these young adults connecting with their community, their futures and most importantly, their identity.”

One participant recently shared the impact of her experience in the following letter:

I wanted to personally thank you for all you did for me with this program. Before I started, I was a suicidal, anxious, depressed, college dropout who couldn’t see a future for herself. This program did more than give me on-the-job experience and career training. It gave me the confidence and strength the find a new lease of life. I have a future now. I still don’t quite know what that future is, but I know it exists. And I know that if I apply myself then I will accomplish more than I ever thought I ever could a mere six months ago.

– Jess

The work readiness training system, nicknamed “theNET”, combines a seven-week soft skill course with a 200 hour work experience. Participants engage in the program to work toward earning a work readiness certificate that demonstrates that they have developed skills in communication, building credibility, and decision making and problem solving.

For more information on getting involved please contact JD Shinn.

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