The Workforce Investment Act Youth Program will hold a recruiting/job fair Thursday, April 24, from 3 to 7 p.m. at East Central College’s Training Center, conference room A.

The program, for youth ages 16-21 who face barriers to employment, places those who are eligible in jobs at nonprofit organizations.

A federal grant funds the youth salaries, so the nonprofits receive free help, and in return the youth get real life work experience.

This recruiting event is for young people only. Nonprofit groups interested in working with the program should call the WIA office at 636-239-6703, extension 253.

Eligible youth are those with a documented challenge, such as Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), any mental or physical barriers or who are very low income. The purpose is to assist these participants to be on a more level playing field with peers who don’t have these additional challenges.

In addition to placing participants in real life work situations, WIA offers workshops on resume writing, interviewing skills, leadership development and other items.

The program also provides the opportunity for participants to obtain their National Career Readiness Certificate by taking the WorkKeys test. The NCRC is a credential many employers are recognizing in this area, as Franklin County is only one of a handful of counties nationwide to hold the distinction of a Work Ready Community.