Teens, young adults invited to check out CCMEP

DARKE COUNTY – Teens and young adults looking for assistance with completing their GED, starting college or jumping into a career path are invited to take advantage of CCMEP – Comprehensive Case Management and Employment Program.

CCMEP has been developed to be an arm of the Ohio Means Jobs program and is geared toward low-income, eligible individuals, ages 14-24.

According to Kaitlyn Higgins, Eligibility Referral Specialist with the Ohio Means Jobs Darke County, CCMEP will help young people who qualify “get on their feet and help them develop job skills.”

CCMEP provides employment and training services based on needs and skill assessment.

Participants are provided services to support goals outlined in their individual opportunity plan, which may include support to obtain a high school diploma or GED, job placement and training, or entering college or a trade school program. As needed, participants also may receive tutoring services, assistance with learning about finances/money, mentoring by an adult, as well as other supportive services such as child care and transportation.

Young people who are found eligible for CCMEP work together with case managers to overcome barriers to employment and develop skills local employers are looking for, Higgins said.

“The CCMEP takes a coordinated, holistic approach to stabilizing individuals and families by addressing a multitude of factors that may be contributing to poverty and unemployment, including health, housing, education, transportation and child care,” Higgins explained.

Currently there are approximately 15 individuals taking advantage of the  CCMEP program in Darke County.

One young woman, who will remain anonymous for privacy, says she “felt very overwhelmed with the idea of going back to school. I had wanted to go back to school for some time, I just didn’t know the first steps to take to get me there successfully.”

The young woman said she was able to enroll in school “without worrying about student loan debt in the back of my mind. There were also times during the school year that I needed supplies that the school did not provide for us. That’s when CCMEP showed their support and helped me to get the supplies I needed to be successful. I would definitely recommend this program to anyone who wishes to fulfill their dream of going back to school.”

Having people help guide her through her experiences, the young woman said, was also helpful. “They showed me so much support and checked on me often to see how everything was going. I cannot thank them enough.”

Higgins said CCMEP will work with students looking to focus “on in-demand” vocations as far as assisting with college expenses.

Higgins also said the county’s CCMEP program is beginning to work with local school guidance counselors to help spread the word about the opportunities available to young people.

Parents also are encouraged to get involved with their teens who receive CCMEP services.

For more information concerning Ohio Means Jobs and the CCMEP program, contact Higgins at 648-4132, Ext. 333. The Ohio Means Jobs office for Darke County is located at 630 Wagner Ave., next to Edison Community College.

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