Employment & Education Support

In Northwest Youth Services’ Vocational Readiness Program, staff assist youth in building the skills necessary to be successful in the workplace, through individual support services, hands-on skill building opportunities, and paid jobs for youth.

Individual support services are available in Whatcom and Skagit counties for youth ages 13-25.

Our Vocational Readiness Program has three components: individual education and employment support; Youth Jobs; and the We Grow Garden.


Individual Education and Employment Support

Staff are available to work with all young people, whether you are currently enrolled in one of our housing programs or not. You can get any of your job or school-related questions answered and receive help with the following:

  • Job-searching
  • Creating a resume
  • Writing a cover letter
  • Filling out job applications
  • Navigating WorkSource job boards, Craigslist, and other online resources

Youth Jobs

Youth Jobs is a partnership between Northwest Youth Services and local businesses to offer paid work opportunities to young people. Through Youth Jobs, youth can find paid work in an area that interests them, and to gain experience to put on their resume. It’s also a great way for businesses to support young people in a meaningful way, while benefiting from the extra help! If your business is interested in participating in this program, please send us an email to learn more.


We Grow Garden

The We Grow Garden is a hands-on opportunity for young people to learn skills essential to being successful in a professional environment.

WeGrowlogo2In the We Grow Garden, youth are hired to work alongside community volunteers and NWYS staff. Youth take the lead in planting, growing, and harvesting organic produce and flowers, which are then sold at the We Grow Market Stand, to several local restaurants, and donated to the Bellingham Food Bank. Youth build skills like communication, problem-solving, teamwork, responsibility, and customer service, as well as sustainable gardening practices and healthy eating. We Grow is offered in partnership with the Washington State University Extension Master Gardener Program.


For more information about the Vocational Readiness Program,
please contact Bonnie Schultz-Lorentzen, Vocational Program Coordinator,
at (360) 734-9862 ext. 151 or BonnieS@nwys.org.