When NEXGEN Council members, NEXGEN contractors, invited guest, and the Centralina Workforce Development Board staff walked into a room on Thursday, November 19th 2015 they saw something peculiar - there was a major change in set-up.
Yes, the NEXGEN Council are changing the way of doing things.
With the recent name change of the Centralina NEXGEN Council, which was formerly known as the Centralina Youth Council, members all agreed that things had to change to reach new heights for the 2015-2016. In past meetings, the NEXGEN Council members would all sit in the front of the room while customers, contractors, and guest all sat in the audience and observed. For the first time, the room was arranged in a large square for NEXGEN Council members, customers, and contractors to mix in together. A total of 50 people participated in the very first Centralina WDB NEXGEN Council meeting.
"Going forward we realized we needed everyone working together, so we changed the room setup by putting everyone around the table," said Solomon McAuley, Centralina WDB's Youth Specialist.
"Building this new look at what we're calling NEXGEN Council, I wanted to get stakeholders from different backgrounds to engage and truly interact with NEXGEN customers and contractors," McAuley said.
There were a lot of new faces in the room as well. The NEXGEN Council welcomed new council members from different backgrounds like Jobcorps, community and four-year colleges, Department of Social Services, and business owners.
"I wanted those who are not afraid to embrace the challenges that our young adults are facing while trying to break through to the workforce development side of things," McAuley said.
Getting new NEXGEN Council members were developed as recommendations from community leaders, and past Centralina Youth Council members. Before this first official NEXGEN Council meeting, the Council held many interest meetings for those who would possibly bring fresh ideas to the new Council.
During the meeting, the meeting attendees divided into groups in which each group consist of a NEXGEN Council chair, a NEXGEN contractor, and their customers. Each chair was able to ask the contractors and customers about the services offered and how they can enhance the entire way of doing things. The customers and contractors were also able to share with the chairs what they would like to see moving forward. This created an atmosphere for great communication.
"I truly believe that you cannot serve those you do not know," said McAuley. "This is a way to get to know those we are serving and build meaningful relationships."
It is apparent that the Centralina NEXGEN Council are committed to embrace the challenges and changes that are needed to support the NEXGEN population even if it results in changing the entire way of doing things.
For more information regarding the NEXGEN Council, contact Solomon McAuley at 704-348-2725 firstname.lastname@example.org.