Frequently Asked Questions
Why should businesses 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 while preparing students with real-world job skills.
- Georgia continues to have high unemployment rates even though many businesses have jobs that they can’t fill. GPP facilitates a trained workforce for your business.
Are there business incentives for participating in GPP?
- WOTC – The Work Opportunity Tax Credit provides tax incentives to businesses that hire targeted groups, including TANF and SNAP recipients. For more information visit www.doleta.gov/business/incentives/opptax.
- Creation of a skilled workforce for your business 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 business.
Can businesses 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 costs of students to participate in Leadership Adventure Weekends. Businesses not conducive to having student employees can underwrite the costs of local challenges or contribute to GPP, Inc. for the statewide effort.
What is the usual timeline for implementation of GPP?
- 12 for Life 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 before school begins, they may begin in August when school begins, or they may start working in January at the beginning of the second semester. Students cannot start in the middle of a semester because of the need to earn credit for classes they’ve already started. WorkPrep can be implemented on a shorter schedule and can begin at almost any time of the school year if the programming is after school.
Are there special HR considerations for businesses employing GPP students?
- Businesses should treat GPP students as they would any other part-time employee. Students participating in 12 for Life Workplace are 16 years old or older and legal to work. We encourage businesses to have students complete 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 that we don’t want young people to miss.
Are there special liability considerations for businesses if they employ GPP students?
- Careful thought should be put into the types of jobs that are appropriate for teenagers, but Workers Compensation regulations would apply in case of injury. Jobs that include hazardous tasks, such as use of heavy equipment or sharp instruments, should be avoided. GPP can help businesses identify student jobs. More information can be found at www.dol.state.ga.us.
What does “meaningful work” actually mean?
- Meaningful work means real jobs that need to be done by the business. We do not want businesses to invent or “make up” jobs for GPP students, but rather find jobs that are appropriate for high school students. 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 business.
How many hours will students work per day and per week?
- Students work hours vary depending on their school schedule, but most students work 3 to 4 hours daily and 15 to 20 hours per week. For more questions about work hours please visit www.dol.state.ga.us.
May students work on holidays and during the summer?
- We encourage sites to have their students work during holidays and summers. This will help create stability and safe places for students during these breaks. In addition, many of the students and their families will need their paychecks during those times when school is out. Student hours during these times should stay under 29 hours per week so not to move into full-time status.
Can businesses give drug tests or employment readiness tests before hiring students?
- Businesses 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.
Do businesses 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.
Why should communities partner with GPP?
- 90% of US prison populations are high school dropouts costing taxpayers $45 billion per year.
- GPP will help create a trained workforce for your community.
- A skilled workforce helps create long-term financial stability for your community because businesses want to locate where they have employees.
- Incentives – GPP is working with GEFA, USDA, DCA and other state and federal agencies to provide communities and businesses incentives for partnering with GPP.
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.
Why should schools partner with GPP?
- 1 in 3 students in Georgia will not graduate from high school. GPP connects high school graduation with employment in a hands-on way.
- GPP gives relevance to classroom work through real jobs giving students the incentive to stay in school.
- GPP targets students who will not graduate without extra support.
- GPP will lower the dropout rate in your school and district.
- GPP helps schools change the lives of young people who need a chance to succeed.
What is the criteria for student participation in GPP?
- Students in danger of not graduating from high school
- Students without major or consistent behavioral problems
- Students who qualify for free/reduced lunch
- Students who are at least 16 years old and eligible to work in Georgia (12 for Life Workplace only)
- Students with high potential who don’t typically qualify for other programs
Do students get academic credit for participation in GPP?
- GPP is an extension of the school day and we encourage school systems to give students academic credit for their time on the job. This is often done through Work-Based Learning programs. GPP currently has a Georgia Department of Education work-based learning credit number (35.7114000) but academic credit is determined by each individual school system.
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.
What is the difference between the high school graduation rate and dropout rate?
- Graduation rate is the percentage of students who graduate in four years with their freshman cohort. Dropout 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 school but not the dropout rate as long as they eventually graduate.
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 skill 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.
Why is a paycheck important for GPP students?
- Many students are forced to drop out of school to help support their families financially. GPP allows students to stay in school AND earn a paycheck.
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 given encouragement, support, and a “game plan” for their futures.
What does 12 for Life Workplace mean?
- 12 for Life is the very successful program for at-risk students at Southwire Company and Carroll County Schools. GPP took that name and added Workplace to honor Southwire’s program but also to differentiate the two programs. 12 for Life exemplifies that a high school diploma (12 years of school) is the first step for a successful life. For more information on Southwire’s program, please visit www.12forlife.com.