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Employment Specialist Ellie with her dog

Program Highlight: Youth Employment and Education Services

Oct 29, 2021

Youth Employment and Education Services helps young adults ages 16-24 living with a mental illness further their careers and education.  

The program has a one-person team made up of Ellie, Employment Specialist. The goal of the program is twofold: helping young people get and keep jobs of their choice, and helping them explore education opportunities, such as finishing high school, pursuing their GED, career training, or post-secondary education options.

Who Does Youth Employment and Education Services Help?

To be eligible for services, you must be between the ages of 16 and 24, have a mental health concern, and be living in Dakota or Ramsey county. 

Referrals come from a variety of sources. Inside Guild, anyone who receives case management support can be referred to Youth Employment and Education services, such as clients being served by the Youth ACT team or BHH. Externally, referrals often come from schools, parents, or other mental health agencies. 

Working With Youth and the Community

For Ellie, a typical day may look like connecting with clients, accompanying a client for a job interview, meetings with case managers, meeting with a client’s family members, going into businesses and learning about their hiring needs, matching clients with potential jobs, and problem-solving with the adult Employment Services team. 

“This age group experiences a lot of transitions and expectations about ‘where they should be in their life’ which creates additional stress,” says Ellie. “Being able to navigate mental health concerns, develop trust, and create a supportive environment where a client feels heard makes all the difference.”

The unique thing about Youth Employment and Education Services is that Ellie can help clients tackle both employment and education-related issues. Other programs have separate specialists for employment and education. The fact that Ellie’s clients can stick with her for both needs is significant because it allows for their services to be delivered in a more holistic way. 

A fun fact about the program: when Youth Employment and Education Services launched in 2018, it was the first program of its kind in Minnesota to get the grant to work with youth!

Interested in Youth Employment and Education Services? Call (651) 262-2321 or email es@guildservices.org. We look forward to working with you!