Title

WOW (the World of Work): Are You Ready?

First Presenter's Institution

Trainnovations

Second Presenter's Institution

Trainnovations

Third Presenter's Institution

Trainnovations

Fourth Presenter's Institution

NA

Fifth Presenter's Institution

NA

Location

Session 3 (Ballroom F)

Strand #1

Social & Emotional Skills

Strand #2

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Relevance

Many young people in our community are a “work in progress” and need support in navigating life challenges. Their path to adulthood may be filled with obstacles as they face major social adjustment and identity issues. They are NOT entirely ready for the adult challenges in the workplace and end up engaging in futile efforts to succeed. In today’s global, competitive economy, it is estimated that 65% of jobs require education and training beyond high school.[1] Many young adults are under-prepared for the workplace, even if they achieved academic success. According to the US Chamber Foundation Center for Education and Workforce, even many of those who have graduated from high school lack the necessary foundational “soft skills”. [2] Furthermore, a study by the Committee for Economic Development (CED) (with funding by the Carnegie Corporation) found business leaders’ goals and expectations for employees centered around two main themes:

  • Demonstrating soft skills upon entry into the workforce.
  • Demonstrating value for humanity: having a disposition toward treating others with respect, being service oriented, honest, and positive.

A holistic approach to building life management skills and preparing young adults for the world of work is deeply needed.

[1] Training Beyond High School ‘New Minimum for Succeeding’, US News and World Report, June 2018

[2] Bridging the Soft Skills Gap, US Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Career Readiness 2018

Brief Program Description

This session offers strategies to fill the gap between academics (at any level), and full-time, sustainable employment by building soft-skills for success. It provides attendees an opportunity to engage in discussions using the World Café format. Each participant will receive tools for their community and work with others to generate innovative ideas to add to this toolbox.

Summary

This session is aligned with two of the 5H conference strands. First, in meeting young people where they are and helping them continue to build their social and emotional learning competencies beyond the classroom, we are addressing “HEART”. We share multiple strategies that develop and strengthen the necessary life skills; communication, decision-making, goal-setting, and emotional intelligence, that young people need to build sustainable adult lives. The second conference strand we address is “HEAD” by engaging young people in career readiness activities.

Employers require knowledge and communication skills from job candidates. In order to sustain a successful career, not just land that entry level job, youth need professional development that goes beyond the classroom. It is estimated that 65% of jobs require education and training beyond high school, soft skills being the most important. Interviewers are assessing communication skills, the level of professional presentation and whether candidates can think critically.

There is not always room in school curriculum to teach these skills and they are most likely not taught or modeled at home. The foundational soft skills that youth lack can be learned in and out of the classroom. This session will propose ideas that attendees can employ to prepare youth for the world of work. We will provide take home tools and activities to implement in participants’ local communities.

Evidence

According to a survey by Adecco Staffing USA, 44 percent of executives said a lack of soft skills was the biggest proficiency gap they saw in the U.S. workforce. “Soft skills—which are needed to effectively communicate, problem-solve, collaborate and organize, are becoming more important for success as the workplace evolves socially and technologically.”[1] This, coupled with the fact that 65% of jobs require education and training beyond high school, suggest that as a community, we need to help young people build these skills necessary for success. One area of evidence includes the success of the Supervisory and Leadership Academies which are always in high demand. Of the 12 modules offered, 9 are centered around soft skills.

Currently, the opportunities are endless for coaching working adults in an effort to assist them in keeping their jobs. This became evident when Trainnovations delivered the WOW Are you Ready? program in Palm Beach County to nearly 90 underserved youth who may or may not have graduated from high school that year. For weeks in the summer, each youth attended WOW sessions dressed for work, with attendance and participation on teams that dictated their level of success as if the program was their job. The sessions included mostly soft skills training and practice including mock interviews for jobs.

[1] HR’s Hard Challenge: When Employees Lack Soft Skills, SHRM, Feffer, Mark, April 1, 2016

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Trina Pulliam, President

Trina started Trainnovations in 1995 to provide services and programs which guide, assist and build people to move from Better to Brilliant. We do this by enhancing soft skills, implementing positive and desired change and improving the health and wellbeing of applicants, employees and their organizations. Our combination of services helps build the capability and capacity of people toward long term sustainable results.

“My purpose is to accomplish meaningful work for myself and others through responsible and ethical living. I strive to model behavior that inspires innovation, learning and development and consistent performance for health and well-being.”

Beth Ryan, Director of Youth and Young Adult Talent Development

Beth leads the Chicago office and has worked on many projects over the past 15 years to help develop capability and capacity in the workforce. For 12 years she worked with Hephzibah Children’s Association to provide a variety of consulting services to an $8 million nonprofit social service agency serving youth in Group Homes, Foster Care and Day Care programs throughout the community. She also co-wrote and produced the WOW (World of Work) Are you Ready for a Workforce Development Board grant. Beth also currently works as an Associate Professor in the Business and Entrepreneurship Department at Columbia College in Chicago.

“I am passionate about helping others discover possibilities and build toward new and promising opportunities. If we dwell in possibilities, then we always have choices.”

Myra Quinn, Director of Programming

Myra has an extensive background in training and development, business, and human resources, having spent over 20 years in the human resources and counseling industries before joining Trainnovations. She has a Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology from Florida Atlantic University and is a Master Personal and Executive Coach. Myra is also a co-facilitator for the WOW, Are You Ready program.

“I am passionate about working with individuals to discover their true gifts and talents, maximize their potential by living more courageously day to day, and encourage others to live a balanced life.”

Keyword Descriptors

Work Readiness, Soft Skills, Social Emotional Intelligence, Resiliency, Sustainable Working, Work Ready Skills

Presentation Year

March 2019

Start Date

3-4-2019 3:00 PM

End Date

3-4-2019 4:15 PM

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Mar 4th, 3:00 PM Mar 4th, 4:15 PM

WOW (the World of Work): Are You Ready?

Session 3 (Ballroom F)

This session offers strategies to fill the gap between academics (at any level), and full-time, sustainable employment by building soft-skills for success. It provides attendees an opportunity to engage in discussions using the World Café format. Each participant will receive tools for their community and work with others to generate innovative ideas to add to this toolbox.