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TC Futures Center provides 'second opportunity' for young adults

TC FUTURES CENTER

KENNEWICK, Wash. - A "home away from home" is now available as a resource for young adults in the Tri-Cities navigating their future.

The TC Futures Center is having a grand opening next week at its newly-furnished facility in Kennewick after a soft opening in July. The center is a collaborative effort between Educational Service District 123 and the Benton-Franklin Workforce Development Council.

"We dreamed up the idea of what would it look like to provide a safe space for youth and young adults," said Mark Wheaton, the center's director. "A place for them to be able to come have some coffee, have a snack, but really work on their education and developing their employment skills."

The center offers GED completion for young adults ages 16-24 that never earned their high school diploma. It also offers career help for those with or without a diploma. That includes counseling, on-the-job training, internships, apprenticeships and more. 

Since its opening in July, the center is currently serving around 80 students in its GED completion program and career program respectively, with a plan to grow that number.

"Maybe they've fallen out of the system or failed somewhere along the way," said Wheaton. "This is giving them a second opportunity or maybe third opportunity to really connect again to what success looks like for them."

The center is fitted with tables and couches for students to use. Coffee, tea and snacks are also available, and laptops can be checked out to use while working or studying at the center. 

Wheaton said the goal is to serve the "whole" student and provide a safe and caring environment. He said in the future they also plan to provide mental health services. Everything offered at the center is free. 

The grand opening for the TC Futures Center is being held Sept 27 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. It is open to the public.

To qualify to use the center, young adults can pick up an application at the center at 6917 W. Grandridge Blvd. Suite C-110. It's open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

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