Dauphin County Commissioners award $20,000 gaming grant to PHASE 4 Learning Center, Inc. for new job training and diploma retrieval program for young adults
HARRISBURG, PA (March 12, 2019) – The Dauphin County Commissioners today presented PHASE 4 Learning Center, Inc. with a $20,000 gaming grant for its new job training and diploma retrieval program for young adults from age 16 to 24 who want to earn a high school diploma.
The Swatara Township-based facility currently serves in-school youth from several area school districts, including Steelton-Highspire and Central Dauphin, through a leading alternative education program. The expanded diploma retrieval program will help those who have withdrawn from school and are seeking a high school diploma and job training to enter the workforce. Founded in 2003 by its President and CEO, Terrie Suica-Reed, PHASE 4 Learning Center, Inc. has various programs across the state and has served nearly 16,000 at-risk individuals.
“Too many teens who drop out of school find themselves unemployed or struggling to make ends meet,” said Commissioner George P. Hartwick, III, who oversees the county’s Human Services. “We want to put young adults on a path to long-term success, and one of the best ways to do that is to have them earn a degree and gain marketable skills.”
The diploma retrieval program will serve over 50 young adults over the course of a year. Each participant will have an individualized program that will include the opportunity to earn a high school diploma and allow for personal development, mentoring, counseling, improved life skills, transferrable employment skills, technology training and financial literacy through a partnership with Fulton Bank. The program will operate on weekdays and some weekend hours for participants who need alternative scheduling due to work or childcare issues.
“This program doesn’t end at graduation,” said board Chairman Jeff Haste. “PHASE 4 staff follow up and provide assistance for at least one year after graduation, ensuring participants have the tools and support they need to succeed.”
In May of 2018, 265 students completed their high school coursework through PHASE 4 Learning Center, Inc. in Pittsburgh. One percent of the graduates have chosen a career in the military, 31 percent have plans to attend college or post-secondary training, and 68 percent have entered the workforce.
“Getting a diploma, a job, and the skills to maintain a job are key to a successful, stable future,” said Commissioner Mike Pries. “We’re proud to support PHASE 4 and the great work they’re doing.”
Last month, the county commissioners awarded a total of $6.4 million in gaming grants to 60-plus projects throughout Dauphin County, including PHASE 4. Under state law, the county must use the grant funds for projects that help human services; improve local infrastructure, such as water and sewer; enhance transportation; address health and safety needs; assist with emergency services; and further public interest initiatives.
“PHASE 4 deeply appreciates the Dauphin County Commissioners and the Gaming Commission for their support in helping make what was once only a dream become a reality for so many who need this chance in life” said Terrie Suica-Reed, Founder, President and CEO, PHASE 4. “The grant will help to enhance our efforts to reach further into the communities to those who have dropped out of school and want to return to complete their education and explore career options.”
To learn more about PHASE 4, visit www.phase4learningcenter.org or call 724-462-1241 or the Dauphin County location at 717-561-2060.
For more information about the GAB or the county’s gaming grant process, please visit DauphinCounty.org or contact the county’s Department of Community and Economic Development at 717-780-6250.