Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Promoting Workforce Skills and Growing Your Own Staff

By Sam Piha

We know that when asked, older youth say they are most interested in acquiring the skills needed to get a job. As youth program leaders, it is our job to help prepare young people for success in adulthood, which includes creating opportunities to explore careers and gather work-based skills, and we are well positioned to help older youth to acquire these skills. 

We also know that afterschool programs are experiencing a worker shortage, and one way to address this is “Growing Your Own” by creating a pipeline for young people to move into youth work. 

To explore these issues we hosted a webinar on June 30, 2022 entitled Preparing Youth in Afterschool for the Workforce and Building Your Own Youth Worker Pipeline. This webinar was hosted by Bill Fennessy (California Afterschool Network) and several youth work professionals who have developed these kinds of programs.

We highly recommend you view the recording of this webinar and review the very informational Powerpoint that accompanied the presentation. To access, click on the images below.

Webinar Recording

Powerpoint Presentation

Additional Resources:
Engaging Youth as Workers Within High School Afterschool Programs: A Briefing Paper
This paper (50 pages) offers experiences that build workforce and career skills, create leadership roles and opportunities for service. These experiences also create career pathways to professions such as teaching and social work, and ensures the program is more relevant to other youth. The purpose of this paper is to inform and encourage expanded learning programs to engage youth as workers in these programs.

Engaging Youth as Workers in Afterschool Programs 
The purpose of this paper (12 pages) is to clarify guidelines regarding the employment of youth and to share strategies that are currently being used by After School Safety and Enrichment for Teens (ASSETs) programs to engage high school age youth through work within their afterschool programs.

Program leaders are now thinking about using a “hybrid” model for professional development - a mixture of recorded/online training offerings and written briefing papers that can be shared with local staff, followed by on-site discussions facilitated by in-person leaders. This hybrid model can be tailored to the needs of the local program, to be more relevant, intimate, inexpensive, and COVID safe.

In this guide we identify “Basics” professional development resources with links for free, easy access (recorded videos, briefing papers, blogs, etc.). These were developed by Temescal Associates and The How Kids Learn Foundation (HKLF). Also included are worksheets, discussion guides and other resources to support programs in leading their own professional development and reflection activities.

To download and read the full guide, click here.

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