CRESTVIEW — Local youths ages 16-24 looking for employment or job training who meet certain criteria may sign up for the Career Pathway to Success, a CareerSource Okaloosa Walton program.

There is no scheduled start date; participants can enroll in the program at any time. After eligibility is determined, they are assigned a Career Counselor to work with them through the Career Pathway process.

One of the first steps is to complete their GED, and then participants attend Work Readiness workshops where they tackle subjects such as budgeting, applying for jobs, creating a resume and more, according to Anne Shaffield, a CareerSource Business Services representative and DeFuniak Springs site coordinator.

"As part of the program they have the opportunity to participate in a work experience, a three-week opportunity," Shaffield said.

Employers associated with the program train participants on the job.

"(They) work with this employer to give them an idea of what is expected from them in the workforce; being on time, dressing appropriately, getting along with coworkers, general work experience … It also gives them something to put on their resume," Shaffield said.

Eligible candidates must meet the age requirement and have one of these additional requirements apply:

•Not attending high school or they are a high school dropout

•In ABE/GED prep classes

•Homeless, a runaway, or in foster care

•Pregnant or a parent

•An individual with a disability

•Living in an out-of-home placement

•An offender

Program participants receive Adult Basic Education and GED program classes and earn work-readiness incentives. They learn about job applications, how to create a resume, interviewing skills, employability skills and money management, and the opportunity to complete up to eight weeks of work experience.

Contact the following career advisors for more information.

Crestview or DeFuniak Springs: Tiffany Bailey, 520-5990, extension 205, or

Emerald Coast Technical College, DeFuniak Springs attendees: Priscilla Johnson, 520-5990, ext. 204 or

Fort Walton Beach residents: Christine Budney, 833-7587, extension 221 or