Personal and Legal Issues
Students may work through the issues previously discussed, but may have personal issues that prevent them from being successful. Personal issues can disrupt the entire Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training (JT) process of training, retention, and placement. Several personal issues may need to be addressed to help students be successful in their training and employment.
- Academic issues
- Attainment of adult high school diploma or GED (high school equivalency)
- Learning and physical disabilities
- Access to computers and learning resources
- Career counseling
- Non-academic issues
- Prior convictions and legal issues
- Drug and/or alcohol abuse
- Anger management
- Child and dependent care
- Student living assistance (i.e., paying rent or finding housing)
- Transportation to and from training
- Driver’s license suspension and outstanding tickets or warrants
- Insurance and medical services
JT programs have handled support services in a variety of ways. Every student is likely to require a different level of support. Some students are secure and independent, requiring little assistance. Others have numerous issues, responsibilities, and obligations that must be addressed if training and sustained employment is to be successful.
JT programs need to allocate resources for personal issues such as counseling and advocacy. Failure to be sensitive to student needs can result in low program completion and employment rates. Working with local courts, expungement, and probation programs can be important factors in retaining capable students who have not yet matured, made mistakes in their past, or were associated with the wrong peer group. Anger management, working in groups, proper presentation, and attitude adjustment can greatly influence student retention, placement, and post-graduate success. Use of drugs can be a contentious issue, especially in communities where marijuana is legal. Employers often require drug-free employees including marijuana—legal or illegal. It must be made clear to applicants during the recruitment process that they may be tested at any time for drug use.