West Virginia is a state of particular interest for Shepherd University. This is because the state has a high rate of unemployment and underemployment.
West Virginia has an unemployment rate over 8% and their underemployment rate is over 10%. These numbers are alarming, especially when it comes to West Virginians who are under the age of 24, have only high school diplomas or equivalent and seeking full-time employment.
The focus for Shepherd University’s West Virginia program was on providing civic engagement opportunities in conjunction with work programs such as job development assistance programs, college career centers and placement services, local businesses seeking employees and community organizations that provide job training opportunities.
Shepherd University is a private, non-profit university that offers academic programs in both the United States and overseas. It is also part of the National Association of Trade and Technical Schools (NATTS) network.
Shepherd University was established as a trade school in 1884 and has since then developed into one of West Virginia’s premier colleges for higher education. Its main campus is in Charles Town, WV with satellite campuses across six states in America.
Through partnerships and relationships, Shepherd University serves as a link between work programs, legislative advocacy and civic engagement across the United States.
The Shepherd University Center for Community Partnerships is a collaboration between the university and the Charles Town community. The institutional partnership is focused on the promotion of social justice and democracy in West Virginia, supporting governmental institutions with relevant information and using their expertise to provide resources to students.
The purpose of this partnership is to provide these two entities with a new tool that helps them connect with each other more efficiently. With this collaboration, students are able to receive more opportunities for civic engagement as well as career preparation.
Charles Town was one of the first cities in America to pass a paid sick leave law. However, it did not have the support necessary to enforce this law on its own. In order to find out how and where money from the ordinance would be spent, the city partnered with Shepherd University’s administration and Charles Town’s mayor.
In partnership with Charles Town Mayor, Shepherd University created a new policy for federally funded social service providers in West Virginia. This policy required that 100% of their resources must be dedicated towards creating direct services to local people struggling with poverty and addiction rather than indirect services such as consulting or education.
This relationship between both institutions has allowed them to effectively address issues related to poverty in West Virginia while advocating for social reform at their local level
Shepherd University and Charles Town, West Virginia are two different cities. One is located in the northern United States and one is located in the southern part of America. Both cities are civic-minded communities with a purposeful mission. The partnership between these two cities has helped to create a good living environment for its citizens.
Shepherd University works with the City of Charles Town to support their respective legislative advocacy initiatives.
In return, Shepherd University is able to provide a link between civic engagement and work programs.
Shelter-University partnership comes from similar perspectives on the future of community development through workforce development.