We recruit youth from target neighborhoods where our program can make the greatest impact. These neighborhoods have high rates of youth unemployment, poverty, juvenile crime, and low graduation rates. Some interpret that as daunting. We interpret that as potential for transformative impact.
We believe this impact can translate to the neighborhood level as we take our program to scale. As our ability to employ youth expands, our target neighborhoods will expand as well.
Once we’ve identified a young person as a candidate for our program we help them articulate their dreams, interests, assets, and areas for great potential. We pair them with a job coach who is committed to their individual success, and where possible match them with a job in their area of interest.
Before STL Youth Jobs, I would fill out applications, but I would fill them out wrong. I didn't know why I wasn't getting the job. Now I know how to properly fill out an application, and now I have a job.
– STL Youth Jobs 2013 participant
We invest in each youth with multiple types of training and skill-building to prepare them for success in the workforce. For many of our youth, their experience at STL Youth Jobs is their first job and this skill-building is critical. Employers receive job-ready youth, and youth are equipped with skills that will serve them for a lifetime. This training includes:
Once a youth is ready for work, we connect them with valuable employment experience. These employers receive job-ready youth, and the program pays their salary. Employers provide any specialized training, employment oversight, and feedback. Our job coaches support both youth and employers every step of the way to ensure their experience is successful. Youth are employed by one of three methods:
From the earliest stages of the program youth are connected to a job coach who is committed to their success. This coach provides the initial assessment, works with both youth and employers throughout the duration of the program to ensure success and support, and provides follow-up support to assist a youth in finding employment post-program.