Beaulieu Works with At-Risk Teens
|Beaulieu America is the only manufacturing company participating in Georgia’s Great Promise Partnership program. The program places at-risk teens with participating employers to instill in them a sense of accomplishment and hope while teaching meaningful on-the-job skills and responsibility, according to the organization.|
In a recent U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation article, Beaulieu America was the only manufacturing company to be recognized in Georgia’s Great Promise Partnership program. The company partners with the Dalton City School System and Morris Innovative High School.
“We want to become active in promoting education in our community,” said Karel Vercryussen, president and CEO of Beaulieu America. “Our future depends on it. This program is one of the ways we are doing it."
Georgia’s Great Promise Partnership places at-risk teens with participating employers to instill in them a sense of accomplishment and hope while teaching meaningful on-the-job skills and responsibility, according to the organization.
“Our 10 student workers must pass drug tests and screenings just like regular employees, and they receive pay just like employees, too,” remarked Lynn Chambers, vice president of employee development at Beaulieu. “To stay in the program, they must maintain their grades and attendance at school.” Georgia’s dropout rate is about 12%. “So, we see the program as not only giving the students practical, real world work experience, but also encouraging them to remain students. It’s a text book win/win.”
Beaulieu has invested in the program by assigning supervisors with special background checks to work with teens and mentors trained to encourage and listen to teens. This is important because the teens often come from challenging home situations where even the basics are scarce. Since beginning in February, Beaulieu reports the program is going very well and intends to expand it.
“We see great potential in these kids,” said Angie Ledford, talent development coordinator at Beaulieu. “If they’re successful, we’re successful. And a full-time job awaits them upon graduation.”
For more information about the Great Promise Partnership, visit gppartnership.org.