Young adults across our region are working through SWVA Works Youth’s Summer Work Experience (WEX) program. The program helps participants gain work experience and hands-on knowledge by placing them at local businesses. These businesses help these young adults learn how to show up to work on time and follow instructions while the businesses get the extra help they need. Case managers work with participants to manage their budgets and offer advice on how to get along with their supervisors and coworkers.
Nick is currently working as a general laborer at Clinch River Farms, a place known for hosting numerous summer youth camps in Tazewell County. This place holds many special memories for Nick because he frequently attended these camps as a child. He has been helping with the place’s upkeep by landscaping and performing minor repair work.
Wesley and Kanain are recent graduates of Honaker High School and have been working for Country Boy Seed and J & A Properties, owned by Mr. JJ Eaton. Both young men have learned to use a forklift and other equipment for bagging and loading feed. They are currently at J & A Properties working on remodeling a property in Honaker, Virginia. They are learning to paint and hang cabinets and will soon learn to hang sheetrock to prepare this property for rent. Due to this WEX opportunity, Wesley and Kanain have enrolled at Southwest Virginia Community College to enter the Heavy Equipment and CDL programs.
Austin also graduated from Honaker High School this past May and now works at The Random Plate restaurant in Honaker, Virginia. The Random Plate is owned and operated by Manuel Lopez Perez and Karla I. Diaz Vega, who made the trek from Las Vegas to bring authentic Mexican cuisine to Russell County. Austin helps prep and cook the food while learning the ins and outs of the restaurant business. He says he dreams of owning his own restaurant one day, and this WEX opportunity has helped him realize it’s possible. Case manager Lisa Hubbard says he is interested in doing the Culinary Arts program through Southwest Virginia Community College.
Isaac and Brayden are working for C&C Farm Supply in Haysi. They are learning about the landscaping business and often help out with that at multiple locations. When they are not landscaping, they are helping out in the store by carrying items to customers’ vehicles.
Addison and John are working for Wright Way Service in Clinchco. They love getting to help in the garage with changing tires and oil, topping off fluids, and learning the basics of car maintenance and repair.
We’re very proud of these young adults for doing such a fantastic job at their worksites and hope this opportunity will help them be successful in the future!