Ivanka Trump and Jim Clark with Club kids

We will continue our commitment to helping young people with the essential skills and abilities needed to succeed once they graduate from high school. - Photo: Boys & Girls Clubs of America, President and CEO Jim Clark and Presidential Adviser Ivanka Trump with Club kids.

Building A Workforce for the Future
Posted 09/20/2019 by Jim Clark in Our Experts,Opening Doors

What do kids do after-school, before dark? At Boys & Girls Clubs we believe that the time kids spend out of school represents a significant opportunity to provide experiences and exposure to career paths they otherwise wouldn’t encounter. We can see so clearly the future of our nation by how we are setting our kids and teens up for success. Economic mobility and good jobs change lives, and transform communities.  

Our Club teens tell us the number one thing they want is job readiness. So, we’re focused on providing teens with access to opportunities that will help them apply the skills they’ve developed, from internships and apprenticeships to that first job. From leadership skills to getting girls engaged in technical areas like STEM and coding, it’s about sharing new career opportunities with kids, engaging them in learning, and equipping them with the essential skills to succeed. 

But we know this cannot start senior year of high school. Learning essential skills must start at an early age, to keep kids on the path toward a great future.  

Our workforce development programs start early and grow with the young people we serve, building on their experiences with age-appropriate activities and opportunities.   

While each Boys & Girls Club is responsive to the needs of its own community, there are four overarching pillars that support workforce readiness:  

  • As early as age 6, we’re beginning essential skill development because employers need people who are team players, adaptable and creative.  

  • We also embed career exploration into our core programs. For example, a hands-on STEM workshop might also include a discussion on relevant careers. 

  • For teens, we focus on developing “employability skills” like building a resume, interviewing, and managing your personal brand. Soon, we hope to add industry certifications and credentials to that list. 

  • Work-based learning gives teens the opportunities to apply the skills they’ve developed, through internships, apprenticeships, and their first job. Today, many young people find their first leadership experience or part-time paid job through the Club.  


Our data shows that kids who come to the Club do better than those who don’t. Boys & Girls Clubs members are more likely to do better in school, make healthy choices, demonstrate leadership qualities and contribute positively to their community. The Club also opens up future job opportunities by expanding kids’ worldview and introducing new career pathways.  

We believe that youth workforce readiness during out-of-school time has the power to transform lives and communities. That’s why we’re investing in it. We’re committed to building our capacity and scaling our impact to prepare more kids for the jobs of tomorrow. 

In September we hosted the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board meeting at Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington’s Richard England Clubhouse #14. With some of the most respected leaders in the country and Advisory Board Co-Chairs U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Presidential Adviser Ivanka Trump, we focused on our commitment to expanding new opportunities, training and workforce development for young people and Americans of all ages. As the only youth-serving nonprofit organization on the 24-member Board, Boys & Girls Clubs of America is proud to champion the role of out-of-school time in bridging the job readiness gap and elevate the importance of starting workforce development with young people.  

Through the work of our more than 4,600 Clubhouses across the country and the power of our public and private partnerships, we will continue our commitment to helping young people, starting in elementary school, with the essential skills and abilities needed to succeed once they graduate from high school.  

 

 

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