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Pathways to Growth: Job Development, Retention and Advancement for Out-of-School Youth


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From the 2005 Garden State Employment and Training Conference

Published in: Business, Education
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Pathways to Growth: Job Development, Retention and Advancement for Out-of-School Youth

  1. 1. Pathways to Growth Job Development, Retention & Advancement Strategies for Out-of-School Youth Presented by Michele Martin
  2. 2. Serving Two Customers <ul><li>Businesses want: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Access to trained, qualified workers who will stay on the job, have no “issues” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A “guarantee” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Pre-screening </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Delivery on promises </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Minimal hassle </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Youth want: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Work they enjoy and can reasonably do </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Work that supports their standard of living </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To “fit in” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consistency & honesty </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Who is the Job Developer’s Primary Customer?
  4. 4. Roles of Job Developer-- Business <ul><li>Business Advocate </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Understand, communicate expectations of business to youth, other staff </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Serve business needs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>HR Professional </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Clear job descriptions/skill requirements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pre-screen & referral </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Marketer </li></ul>
  5. 5. Roles of Job Developer-- Youth <ul><li>Educator/Coach </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Prepare youth for independent job search </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prepare youth to meet business expectations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide feedback to youth </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Assessment Specialist </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Know youth and their needs </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Serving the Business Customer
  7. 7. Before Contacting Business <ul><li>Understand the Labor Market </li></ul><ul><li>Know Your Supply of Young People </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Skills, characteristics, numbers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Identify your Resources for Engagement </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One-Stop, Chamber, SHRM, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Know Your Products and Services </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Transition, Retention, Advancement, Re-Employment </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Transition <ul><li>Pre-screen candidates to fit specific business and job requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Conduct on-site Orientations and/or business-specific training for youth job seekers </li></ul><ul><li>Provide business with “support services” kit (useful for all entry-level job seekers) </li></ul>
  9. 9. Retention <ul><li>Help business accurately communicate expectations, requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Help business outline a 3-month training plan (can be used with other entry-level workers) </li></ul><ul><li>“Call us before it becomes a crisis” </li></ul><ul><li>Work with front-line supervisors, not just HR. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Advancement <ul><li>Surveys— what additional training can be provided to youth to move along a career path? </li></ul><ul><li>Plan for “Upgrade OJT” </li></ul><ul><li>Coordinate industry-specific forums focused on identifying and meeting changing skill needs </li></ul>
  11. 11. Re-Employment <ul><li>“What happened? How can we make sure it doesn’t happen again?” </li></ul><ul><li>Pro-active conflict resolution processes </li></ul>
  12. 12. Marketing and “Selling” to Business
  13. 13. The Marketing Plan <ul><li>Define customer base </li></ul><ul><li>Create key messages </li></ul><ul><li>Outline marketing strategies </li></ul>
  14. 14. Defining the Customer Base <ul><li>You want workplace partners who have: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A record of hiring youth </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Skill shortages among entry-level workers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cooperative labor/management relations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Commitment to employee training and diversity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A need that could be filled by your program </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Visible involvement in community and educational issues </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Key Messages <ul><li>Reduced training and recruitment costs </li></ul><ul><li>Increased productivity </li></ul><ul><li>Pre-screened applicants </li></ul><ul><li>Reduced turnover because of long-term support & follow-up </li></ul><ul><li>Professional, customer-driven business services </li></ul>
  16. 16. Marketing Strategies <ul><li>General awareness </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Media campaigns, special events </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Targeted Marketing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Direct mail, telemarketing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Direct recruitment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sales presentations, job fairs, networking, direct sales calls </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Customer Service <ul><li>Identify and respond to specific business needs </li></ul><ul><li>Speak the language of business </li></ul><ul><li>Use business standards of communication </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E-mail, voice-mail, websites </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Solve problems & create solutions—no excuses </li></ul><ul><li>Under-promise and Over-deliver </li></ul>
  18. 18. Making the Sale <ul><li>Understand business motivation—everyone is different </li></ul><ul><li>Pick a Strategy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Build on what exists </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Solve a business need </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Invest in your community </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Anticipate and overcome objections </li></ul><ul><li>Allow for a full range of participation options </li></ul><ul><li>Establish concrete next steps </li></ul>
  19. 19. Following Up <ul><li>Be the single point of contact </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure business needs/expectations are being met </li></ul><ul><li>Deliver on your promises </li></ul><ul><li>Measure and share results </li></ul><ul><li>Stay in continuous contact to develop relationships </li></ul>
  20. 20. Supporting Youth
  21. 21. Prepare Youth Effectively <ul><li>Program should communicate/reinforce “culture of employability” </li></ul><ul><li>Communicate high expectations/high support </li></ul><ul><li>Clearly communicate skill requirements, business expectations </li></ul><ul><li>Anticipate, identify and resolve barriers & challenges </li></ul><ul><li>Have contingency plans, back-up supports </li></ul>
  22. 22. Service Guiding Principles <ul><li>Work with Working Individuals </li></ul><ul><li>Just in Time Service Interventions </li></ul><ul><li>Solve Problems in Context </li></ul>
  23. 23. Working with Working Individuals <ul><li>Workshops/seminars in non-work hours </li></ul><ul><li>On-site child care for events </li></ul><ul><li>On-line courses, supports </li></ul><ul><li>Connect youth with on-the-job mentors for coaching, support </li></ul><ul><li>Provide services in youth’s community (FBOs, CBOs, etc.) </li></ul>
  24. 24. Just-in-Time Services <ul><li>Collect and analyze data on “predictable” events for all participants. </li></ul><ul><li>Work with youth and employer to plan out natural sequence of events, problems, potential accomplishments, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Plan actions to coincide with events </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ How to Prepare Your Taxes” in Jan/Feb </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Now that You’re Settling In” after a month on the job </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Solve Problems in Context <ul><li>Activities should be tangible, relevant </li></ul><ul><li>Integrate contextual problem-solving— </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“Money management” courses aren’t relevant until youth has money to manage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Transportation doesn’t become a problem until the youth can’t get to work or is late </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Filing income taxes becomes more important in January when a refund is due </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. Transition Services & Strategies <ul><li>Support “best fit” with job </li></ul><ul><li>Exit Interview </li></ul><ul><li>1 st Day Follow-up </li></ul><ul><li>Anticipate 1 st day, 1 st week, 1 st month problems </li></ul><ul><li>Transition funds for before 1 st check (i.e., transportation, lunches, etc.) </li></ul>
  27. 27. Retention— Who is Working 6 months later? <ul><li>Interested in and enjoys the work </li></ul><ul><li>Possesses the skills to do the work </li></ul><ul><li>Has formed positive relationships with supervisor(s) and co-workers </li></ul><ul><li>Is making enough money to support expected standard of living </li></ul><ul><li>Has effectively dealt with both expected and unexpected problems </li></ul><ul><li>Company is a “good match” for the customer’s values </li></ul>
  28. 28. Retention Services <ul><li>Long-term career planning support </li></ul><ul><li>Help youth connect to at least ONE person at the worksite </li></ul><ul><li>How to handle performance reviews, supervisor feedback, work “cliques,” etc. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Whatever it takes” ongoing contact for relationship building </li></ul><ul><li>Pro-active contingency planning and access to “emergency” services </li></ul><ul><li>Help youth anticipate reality of paycheck vs. expenses </li></ul>
  29. 29. Advancement Services <ul><li>Teach “strategic job hopping” </li></ul><ul><li>Continue job development after placement </li></ul><ul><li>Provide information on and direct access to ongoing career ladder training </li></ul><ul><li>Alumni groups, networking opportunities </li></ul>
  30. 30. Re-Employment Services <ul><li>“What happened? How can we solve that problem so you don’t lose your job again?” </li></ul><ul><li>Get feedback from employer and work with youth to address for the future </li></ul><ul><li>Ongoing career exploration and planning—”What did you learn from that experience?” </li></ul>
  31. 31. <ul><li>Presented by: </li></ul><ul><li>Michele Roy </li></ul><ul><li>The Widing Group </li></ul><ul><li>936 N. 5 th Street </li></ul><ul><li>Philadelphia, PA 19123 </li></ul><ul><li>(215) 923-4059 </li></ul>