SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Department of Development Services hosted its annual forum tonight in Springfield to assist students and families of transition-age youth.

The Department of Development Services hosted the event at the Basketball Hall of Fame. Roughly 20 local providers were on hand to explain different programs to those in the 14 to 22 age range.

This forum gave a youth a chance to learn about employment opportunities, life skills training, and college step programs.

Elaine Ballargeon , Area Director for Springfield and Westfield Office of Department Developmental Services (DDS) said, “We hope that it gives them some plan to move forward with their transition. They’re already in school and already have a plan in place. Where they want to take their next steps, what they want their life to look like, and it really helps them feel more secure, you know it takes away that anxiety.”

The director adds that if youth understand their goals, they are likely to succeed in the program they choose.