Tacoma School Board member will lead REACH work center

A Tacoma Public Schools Board of Directors member will lead a new partnership of agencies providing career, educational and development services for at-risk young adults.

Kurt Miller started as director of the Resources for Education and Career Help (REACH) partnership April 13. The agencies will be located in Tacoma Goodwill’s new Milgard Work Opportunity Center, under construction at South 27th Street and Tacoma Avenue South.

The partnering agencies include Bates Technical College, Clover Park Technical College, Tacoma Community College, Tacoma Community House, Vadis, Tacoma Public Schools, Centro Latino, Job Corps, Metropolitan Development Council, Work Force Central and Tacoma Goodwill. Miller was chosen from a regional search of more than 200 candidates.

Miller has been working as development director for the Pacific Harbors Council, Boy Scouts of America. He has spent the past five years as director of Educational Initiatives, Northwest Leadership Foundation. In that capacity, he managed a $2.5 million state grant that created TEACH Tacoma, providing after-school programs through a partnership of agencies. He has been a member of the Tacoma school board since 2003.

Among Miller’s first tasks is placing up to 400 young adults, ages 14-24, in jobs for six weeks between June-August. The program is part of $2.5 million in federal stimulus money coming to Pierce County as part of a Youth Empowerment Program.

Miller and his staff are already searching for employers to participate in the program and for youth to fill the positions. For information, contact David Larsen at (253) 383-3951 or reachtacoma@yahoo.com. The deadline for applications is May 29.

The REACH partnership is the centerpiece of Goodwill’s Milgard Work Opportunity Center. It will feature a “job fair” atmosphere with one-stop opportunities for young adults to receive services they need. About 25 direct youth case managers and support staff will be located in the facility.