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Assistance for career planning for youth is coming to Picayune

Tyler Johnson - WRJW News


During its meeting on Monday, the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors, Chief Executive Officer John Whitfield of CLIMB Community Development Corporation presented their mission for Pearl River County, of promoting strong communities by providing individuals access to opportunities that inspire self-reliance. They are a non-profit group based out of Harrison County. They are funded by Southern Mississippi Planning & Development District through the Department of Labor.


L-R: District 1 Supervisor Donald Hart, John Whitfield, Jake Cook


Chief Operating Officer Jake Cook spoke passionately about the program and what if offers to less fortunate young people.

“The Complete to Compete Program offers job training, job placement and education free of charge to young people between the ages of 16-24, who are out of the school system, graduated, or have just given up.” Cook also stated that “we want to send a message to our young people to understand that to be successful, when you start something, you have to finish it. There is going to be obstacles in your way and you either go through them, around them, or back up and try again but you have to keep moving forward to reach your goals.”


CLIMB has recently hired staff to run the Pearl River County office. Career Coach Sylvia Mark will work directly with the youth to lay out a career plan for them to reach their goals. Catessa Hart will be the Program Assistant.


They are looking for companies who are interested in partnering with CLIMB to aid in training individuals. The participants will train for 600 hours at no cost to the employer. The program pays workmen’s comp and hourly rate. The employer is only responsible for the training. The goal is to have these individuals hired by the employers once training is complete.


CEO Whitfield stated that “Community support is imperative to the success of this program”.


CLIMB Community Development Corporation has other opportunities such as Continuing of Care and Rapid Re-Housing Programs.


They will be the first tenants in the new Mary H. Richardson Community Center located on South Beech Street in Picayune.

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