1. What is Great Promise Partnership? GPP is an initiative of the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) in the Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education Department (CTAE). GPP works to establish and grow public-private partnerships in communities across the state that empower and equip at-risk students to complete high school while gaining real-world job skills and experience, creating a path to personal success and the workforce of the future.
2. Why should employers partner with GPP?
· 1.3 million Georgians over the age of 18 don’t have high school diplomas and are not adequately prepared for the workplace. GPP connects high school graduation with employment by preparing students with real-world job skills.
· Georgia continues to have a high unemployment rate even though many employers have jobs that they can’t fill. (Georgians without a high school diploma have an even higher unemployment rate of 6.2%.) GPP works with schools and community organizations to develop a trained workforce for employers.
· GPP presents employers with the opportunity to train their own future workforce.
3. Are there business incentives for participation in GPP?
· Many GPP students may qualify for the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) for employers. Also, Federal Bonding is available at no cost to employers which provides limited liability coverage for employees who can’t otherwise be bonded. More info can be found at www.gdol.ga.gov
· Creation of a skilled workforce for your organization and others in the community.
· Your company will be making a real difference in the economy of your community and Georgia while increasing the financial stability of your organization.
4. Why is GPP is a “Win-Win” for everyone? GPP is not charity, but instead a win-win for employers, schools, communities and students. Employers gain skilled workers who are productive and profitable. Schools gain students that stay in school and the drop-out rate is reduced. Communities gain productive citizens and better economies. Students gain high school degrees, real-world skills and hope for their futures.
5. Can employers participate in GPP without having student employees? Yes! Each community has financial challenges to successful implementation of the program. Examples include the cost of transporting students to the worksites and the cost for students to participate in REAL Skills Days and GPP Leadership Day at the Capitol. Organizations not conducive to having student employees can underwrite these local costs.
6. What is the usual timeline for implementation of GPP? Workplace usually takes between 6 months to a year from the very first talks in the community to full implementation. Students may start work over the summer to get a head start, in August when school begins, or in January at the beginning of second semester. Students cannot start in the middle of a semester because of the need to earn academic credit for classes they’ve already started, as well as Work-based Learning academic credit for participating in GPP for an entire semester. Student class schedules just can't be changed mid-semester. WorkPrep can be implemented on a shorter schedule and can begin at almost any time of the school year.
7. Are there special HR considerations for employers employing GPP students? Businesses should treat GPP students as they would any other part-time employee. Students participating in GPP Workplace are 16 years old or older and legal to work. We encourage employers to put them through the same HR orientation as they would for any other part-time employee, while still remembering that they are students and may need to miss work for tutoring, homecoming, pep rallies, and other opportunities and activities we don’t want young people to miss.
8. Are there special liability considerations for employers if they hire GPP students? Careful thought should be put into the types of jobs that are appropriate for teenagers, but Workers’ Comp regulations would apply in case of injury. GPP can help employers identify student jobs. More information can be found at www.gdol.ga.gov
9. What does “meaningful work” actually mean? Meaningful work means real jobs that need to be done by the employer. We do not want employers to invent jobs for GPP students, but rather find jobs that are appropriate for high school students that already exist, need to be done and contribute to your bottom-line. Young people will learn from any real job as long as supervisors take the time to explain why the task needs to be done and how it fits into the larger goals and success of the employer.
10. How many hours will students work per day and per week? Students work hours will vary depending on their school schedule (regular or block schedules) but most students work 3 to 4 hours daily and 15 to 20 hours per week. For more questions about work hours please refer to www.gdol.ga.gov
11. May students work on holidays and during the summer? We encourage sites to have their students work during holidays and summer. If the jobs are “real” jobs then the assumption is that the need will continue through summers and holidays if the facility is open. This will also help create stability and safe places for students to be during these breaks. In addition, many of the students and their families will continue to need their paychecks during those times when school is out. Student hours during these times should stay under an average of 29 hours per week for the year so not to move into full-time status.
12. Can employers give drug tests or employment readiness tests before hiring the students? Employers have the right to drug test any prospective employee including GPP students. Employee readiness tests may be used as well, but we remind you that these are at-risk students who are in need of work skills, mentoring, and other support, and employment readiness tests may disqualify GPP’s target student population.
13. Do employers need to pay the students benefits? Students should have the same benefits as other part-time employees, but since they are part-time employees, benefits are usually not a consideration.
14. Why should communities partner with GPP?
a. 80% of US prison populations are high school dropouts.
b. GPP will help create a trained workforce for your community.
c. A skilled workforce helps create long-term financial stability for your community because companies want to locate where they have trained employees.
15. How do other youth development and community organizations participate in GPP? We are not looking to be redundant or compete with other organizations that are already working with at-risk youth. We look to partner with those organizations and work as a team to improve the lives of students and communities.
16. Why should schools partner with GPP?
a. 1 in 4 students in Georgia will not graduate from high school. GPP connects high school graduation with employment in a hands-on way.
b. GPP gives relevance to classroom work through real jobs giving students the incentive to stay in school.
c. GPP targets that student who will not graduate without extra support.
d. GPP will lower the drop-out rate in your school and district.
e. GPP helps schools change the lives of young people who need a chance to succeed.
17. What is the criterion for student participation in GPP?
a. Students in danger of not graduating from high school
b. Students without major or consistent behavioral problems
c. Students who qualify for free/reduced priced lunch
d. Students who are at least 16 years old and eligible to work in Georgia (GPP Workplace)
e. Students with high potential but who don’t typically qualify for other programs
18. What does “Public-Private Partnership” mean? GPP operates on the belief that every sector of society – government, education, and business - must join together to ensure that ALL students become successful, contributing citizens. No one sector can do it alone.
19. What is the difference between the high school graduation rate and drop-out rate? Graduation rate is the percentage of students who graduate in four years with their freshman cohort. Drop-out rate is when a student actually leaves school not to return. Some students will take more than four years to graduate – these students hurt the graduation rate of a school but not the drop-out rate as long as they eventually graduate.
20. Why do students drop out of high school? The majority of students drop out of high school because of (1) issues that go along with living in poverty; (2) academic issues, and/or (3) lack of support. GPP addresses all three main areas through life skills sessions, mentoring, career and college investigation, and real-world job skills. Through GPP, academic success becomes relevant to the current and future employment of the students.
21. Why is a paycheck important for GPP students? GPP students come from low-income situations and are often forced to drop out of school to help support their families financially. GPP allows students to stay in school AND earn a paycheck. A paycheck provides incentive to be present and successful. If a student doesn't go to school they cannot go to work that day, therefore losing income. If a student drops out of high school, they lose their GPP jobs. These rules teach students that what they do at school affects what they can achieve at work and gives them incentive to remain in school and graduate.
22. Do students get academic credit for participation in GPP? GPP is an initiative of the Georgia Department of Education under the CTAE umbrella and is an extension of the school day. Thus, GPP students may receive academic credit through a Work-based Learning course code that begins with 35.7. GPP students also receive the same FTE funding as other students enrolled in Work-based Learning. Work-based Learning coordinators across the state should have this information. If not, contact GPP for the details.
23. What makes GPP different from other Work-based Learning programs already in most school systems? GPP isn't different from other Work-based Learning programs because GPP IS a Work-based Learning program and part of GaDOE's CTAE Department . However, the type of student that GPP targets is different from traditional Work-based Learning programs. Our students are at-risk of not graduating and don’t typically qualify for traditional Work-based Learning or other internship programs.
24. What is the “Promise” of Great Promise Partnership? If students “finish the drill” and stay in school through their graduation, then we promise there will be opportunities for them to participate in the economic future of Georgia. We also believe all students show promise for success when given encouragement, support, and a “game plan” for their futures.