April 23, 2010

Popular 'E3' summer youth program returns for second year

In 2009, UW-Parkside student Joshua Bradley, second from left, explains rain garden planting techniques to Kara Hamilton while Jesse Perry, Gino Falbo, and Sean Austin work nearby. The Racine students were working in last year's E3 jobs program.

'E3' is back for round 2.

The summer employment and training program, short for "Employ, Enrich, Engage," is now accepting applications for this summer. Between 100 and 150 young adults between the ages of 14 and 24 from throughout Racine County are expected to participate. Applications are accepted from youth seeking work experience and employers to host participants.

New for 2010 is a summer course led by the Racine Unified School District and the Burlington School District to help youth learn successful workplace skills. Students can earn up to 0.5 high school credits; older students out of high school can earn continuing education credits from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. During the course, eligible participants will be paid a stipend and focus on developing their "soft skills." Course work will include six weeks of work experience in the areas of "green jobs" and construction work. Eligible participants can earn $7.25 to $10 per hour.

“The county’s partnerships with area educators and community leaders in developing the program’s vision, goals, and structure were vital last year and will be essential in 2010,” said Workforce Development Center Manager Alice Oliver.

“This year, we expect to exceed higher expectations for the quality of work sites and the caliber of young people who will become 'work ready, work smart' through a combination of work, training and mentoring,” added Crystal McCollum, WDC Youth Team Leader who also serves as UW-Parkside’s Youth Development Manager.

Employers and youth interested in this year’s E3 program can log onto www.wdc.racineco.com to learn more and submit an application.

"The fact that this program is being sustained for another year after the initial stimulus funding has run out is a great testimony to the success of 2009's program and the strength of the community collaboration that brought this effort to fruition," said UW-Parkside Community Development Director Mark Gesner. "I'm excited Racine County youth will continue to learn how a post-secondary education plays a key role in helping them realize their career goals, and how UW-Parkside serves as an active partner in vital community development efforts."

In addition to UW-Parkside and Racine Unified, this year’s partners include Educators Credit Union, Burlington Area School District, Gateway Technical College, UW Extension, City of Racine, Wisconsin Div. of Vocational Rehabilitation, United Way of Racine Co., Racine Area Manufacturers and Commerce, Racine/Kenosha Community Action Agency, and the Racine Family YMCA.

For more information on the program, call Crystal McCollum at (262) 638-6622.


  1. Will Brain O'Connell interfere as he did last year? Will the the video documentation get make unlike last year? Will the Post look in to the program

  2. I interviewed some of these young people last year and they were impressive. It was difficult to decide who to select. Seems like this was a big success! Glad to see it is back.

  3. Very cool that this is going on!