Thurston Chamber Foundation Creates Work-Integrated Learning Pipeline to Impact Youth Success in the Workplace & Workforce Development
Studies show that students who take part in work experiences, such as internships, job shadowing and mentoring, are more likely to be inspired to stay in school, graduate and adopt ambitious goals.
For many, taking part in the competitive advantage of work-integrated learning can be the link to a lifetime of success. What is missing is a bridge between the world of learning and the world of work. Our community’s parents, educators and business leaders maintain that we can build that bridge through the creation of workplace integrated learning and career development opportunities. This will help provide missing skills which will help students find success in today’s job market.
Enter Business 2 Youth Connect (B2Y Connect). B2Y Connect is a new program of the Thurston County Chamber Foundation created in partnership with Pacific Mountain Workforce Development and the Olympia School District.
The program was launched in schools at the beginning of the 2015/2016 school year, and since then students have posted over 170 questions on the message board – questions which are then answered by Thurston County professionals.
Students are asking a variety of questions. Here are a few examples:
- What does your average day look like?
- Do you find it difficult to connect with clients?
- How much and what kind of schooling did you have to go through?
- What kind of doors has this job opened for you?
- How many business ideas have you turned into a real business and what was the process?
As a result of the program, some students and coaches are participating in career fairs, job shadows and informational interviews.
Students are interested in many different careers –from cable installer to physician, and the program’s challenge is to find a professional in every career that students are interested in.
B2Y Connect is currently looking for businesses and community members interested in shaping and educating the next generation and connecting business with their future workforce. To learn how you can participate contact the Thurston County Chamber at 360.357.3362.