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United Way offering free classes to jump start job searches

women at training session

United Way of the CSRA offers free training in early childhood education to help people find jobs in day cares. (May 5, 2011 / WRDW-TV)

News 12 This Morning at 6 o'clock / Thursday, May 5, 2011

AUGUSTA, Ga. --- Our local unemployment rate is just below 10%. Many are still struggling to find a job. One training course is working to close that gap.

Day cares are always looking for employees with rigorous training and people with knowledge of early childhood education. That's why the United Way of the CSRA has teamed up with a few trainers to provide free training.

Children can be a rowdy bunch to control. To command a small group you need a lot of training, which is what this substitute training class is doing. Joan Stoddard with the United Way told News 12, "This program gives them tips, lets them know how to interact with children, gives them facts on first aid."

Some of the women have been searching for a job for months, while others were attracted by the flexibility they'd have with their schedules.
"I thought this would be a good thing, because I like to do activities with children, and I'm all about learning and teaching," said Ethel Carter.

Carter is retired and living on a fixed income she says many people her age are looking for ways to make more money.

"I was looking for a job. I started taking an early childhood education class at Augusta Tech," said LaTasha Butler. Butler had to drop out of school because of family issues. She was looking for a way to get trained and also spend time at home.

"We're always trying to at United Way to reach out and look for other ways to help with unemployment in the community, it's growing," said Stoddard.

Trainer Maria Abercrombie said, "Many of our students go on to form careers in education or get advanced degrees to enter the field."

The program is currently training adult students, and they're hoping to teach younger students in the future. The training program teaches Bright from the Start standards, which are put forth by the state. They have a lot of specific guidelines that day cares must follow in order to be licensed by the state. To find a center that meets those requirements and hires workers with this type of training, click here.

United Way of the CSRA says they will be accepting applications for 12 summer positions that are available. They are looking for people willing to work with children at different youth programs throughout the summer. For more information on how to apply you can call the United Way at (706) 724-5544.

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