Press Releases & Advisories

Eckerd Kids Awarded Largest Workforce Development Contract In Their History

For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Adrienne Drew
C     (727) 902-3287
E     adrew@eckerd.org


CLEARWATER, FL (December 29, 2016) – Eckerd Kids recently announced they have been awarded one of the largest workforce development contracts in their history.  The U.S Department of Labor (DOL) awarded Eckerd Kids $4.5 million dollars over the next three years to plan and implement a reentry demonstration project for young adults in East Tampa, Washington D.C and South Carolina titled Employment Pathways Collaborative (EPC). In addition to the contract, this is also the first federal grant Eckerd Kids has been awarded directly from the Department of Labor.

Employment Pathways Collaborative will specifically help justice involved young adult’s ages 18 to 24 with job training and a path to meaningful employment. The reentry project will serve as a pathway to open the door to future potential workforce opportunities with the Department of Labor who through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) fund over $10 billion annually in training and education programming.

Eckerd Kids, via their Paxen affiliation, operates workforce development programs which provide education enhancement, employment training, and job placement services for youth aged 16-24 years old.  Paxen specializes in developing and delivering training programs that build academic, life and employability skills for at-risk youths and out-of-work adults – many of whom are economically and socially disadvantaged with educational deficiencies that impede or compound employment opportunities

“This is a great way to kick off our fiscal year for 2017, said Jonathan Zeigler, Paxen’s VP of Operations.  We have already identified primary goals for the EPC program which include items such as achieving educational milestones, producing literacy gains and creating a clear pathway for young offenders returning to their home.  I couldn’t be more pleased with the proposed outcomes we have in place, “said Zeigler.

The Employment Pathways Collaborative teams will be hosting open house events in January to educate their local communities about the new work readiness services in place.


About Paxen:
Paxen is a program of Eckerd Kids. Paxen changes lives. Since 1984, three words-We Change Lives-have been part of both the organization’s credo as well as the organization’s DNA. Each day, Paxen staff passionately instructs, assesses, evaluates, and even advocates for the success of learners in Paxen programs. As a recognized leader in education and skills training, Paxen specializes in developing and delivering training programs that build academic, life and employability skills for at-risk youths and out-of-work adults – many of whom are economically and socially disadvantaged with educational deficiencies that impede or compound employment opportunities
About Eckerd Kids:
Eckerd Kids is a national nonprofit organization headquartered in Clearwater, Florida, that has given much-needed second chances to nearly 200,000 children and families since its founding by Jack and Ruth Eckerd in 1968.  Eckerd Kids serves more than 25,000 children and their families each year through life-changing child welfare, juvenile justice and workforce development programs in 18 states and the District of Columbia.  Eckerd Kids’ mission is to provide and share solutions that promote the well-being of children and families in need of a second chance.