CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) – The Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department uses several programs it operates to connect and assist troubled youth and help them stay out of the criminal justice system.
As part of the program, CMPD has partnered with Lowe’s Tuesday to expose the city’s youth to good career opportunities.
The aim is to inspire young people and show them different opportunities after graduating from high school.
At CPCC Harper on Tuesday, they focused on careers in the skilled trades, one of many lessons to help them improve their lives and stay out of trouble.
“Our goal is to train the next generation of skilled tradesmen and women,” said Betsy Conway, Community Relations Manager at Lowe’s.
Lowe’s and several CMPD partners strive to inspire them about a variety of career opportunities available to them.
Students spent hours attending workshops, learning how to use tools, and watching hands-on 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 are in the skilled trades and those are very lucrative careers,” Conway said. .
This is part of the CMPD Youth Engagement Unit.
Officer Bruce Edwards of the CMPD Community Engagement Division said: “[they] spend 6 weeks with us and be able to immerse themselves not only in a craft, but also give them the opportunity to solve some life problems that they may have, some behavioral problems.
Another key part of the program, helping students learn to resolve conflicts,
“It’s just about opening the doors to their campuses to make sure these students have an alternative rather than sitting at home and getting into trouble,” Constable Edwards said.
The CMPD said programs like this disrupt the narrative and provide new opportunities for students when they find themselves in difficult situations.
Officer Edwards added, “We want to create a pipeline that gives students the opportunity to see themselves in a professional field or go to college.”
It’s the third week of six, so youth in these programs have more life skills to learn this summer with CMPD and partner groups.
Students interested in trades can partner with the “ROC” to begin learning these skills while in high school.
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