CMPD using several programs to help youth find a career; stay out of trouble

“What we’re doing today is investing in their future..”
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police and Lowe’s teamed up to expose youth in Charlotte to good career opportunities after they graduate high school.
Published: Jul. 12, 2022 at 9:05 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department is using several programs it operates to connect and help troubled youth and help them stay out of the criminal justice system.

As part of the program, CMPD partnered with Lowe’s Tuesday to expose youth in the city to good career opportunities.

The goal is to inspire young people and show them different opportunities after they graduate high school.

At CPCC Harper Tuesday, they focused on skilled trade careers, just one of several lessons to help better their lives and keep them out of trouble.

“We’re all about building the next generation of skilled tradesmen and women,” said Betsy Conway, the Director of Community Relations for Lowe’s.

Lowe’s and several CMPD partners are working to inspire them about a variety of career opportunities available to them.

Students spent hours attending workshops, learning how to use tools, and watching how-to demonstrations with heavy equipment.

“What we’re doing today is investing in their future, we’re showing them a new career path, we’re showing them the opportunities that lie in skills trades and they’re very lucrative careers,” said Conway.

This is one part of CMPD’s Youth Engagement Unit.

Officer Bruce Edwards with CMPD’s Community Engagement Division said, “[they] spend 6 weeks with us and be able to immerse themselves into not only a career trade but also giving them opportunities to work through some life issues that they may be having, some behavioral issues.”

Another key part of the program, helping students learn how to resolve conflicts,

“It’s just opening up their campus doors to make sure these students have an alternative rather than sitting at home, getting in trouble,” said Officer Edwards.

CMPD said programs like this disrupt the narrative and offer new opportunities to students when they’re in challenging situations.

Officer Edwards added, “we want to create a pipeline where it gives the students an opportunity to see themselves in a career field or going to college.”

This is week three of six, so the youth in these programs have more life skills to gain this summer with CMPD and partner groups.

Students interested in the trades can partner with ‘The ROC’ to start gaining those skills while in high school.

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