orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

August 31, 2013

TOP offers a hand up for residents

Dawn Burleigh
The Orange Leader

ORANGE — A large crowd attended the first Orange County Community Blitz for Transition Out of Poverty (TOP) program at the Orange Public Library.

The Community Service Block Grant, a program of the South East Texas Regional Planning Commission (SETRPC) offers a program to assist residents an opportunity to break the cycle of poverty with the TOP program.

Conner Stelly, an Lamar Institute of Technology (LIT)  student and temporary construction worker, was one of the many who attended on Friday.

“I am hoping this will help me with a stable career,” Stelly said.

Representatives from LIT and Kaplan College were on hand to inform citizens of the programs available through the schools.

A two for one Clinical Medical Assistant and Phlebotomy course is one of many LIT representatives said the school had to offer.

Admissions Representative Carol Schexnayder for Kaplan College the school offers four programs and career services for their graduates.

“We have 9 month diplomas,” Schexnayder said. “We also offer a one day course for CPR.”

Orange City Manager Shawn Oubre spoke at the event.

“This is the largest turnout we have had since we started the blitz,” Contract Specialist/Case Manager Crystal Petry of the Substance Abuse Division of the SETRPC said. “We will be back.”

The blitz is the seminars in Jefferson, Orange and Hardin County as SETRPC reaches out to the community to inform citizens of programs available to residents to help break the cycle of poverty.

The program is ongoing and taking applications for the programs throughout the year. The seminars will be a quarterly event to inform the public of the TOP program.

For more information on the program call 409-899-8444.