The Program - STL Youth Jobs
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The Program

How STL Youth Jobs Works

Our jobs programs are designed to create transformative employment opportunities for youth, while giving them the training and support they need to become the workforce of the future.

Identify & Assess

Recruit youth from target neighborhoods, pair them with a job coach, and provide individualized career assessment to determine skills and interests
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Train & Prepare

Provide critical financial literacy, essential skills, and job readiness training
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Employ

Provide summer employment experience in high-growth industries
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Follow Up & Support

Ongoing interview, resume, and reference support to help youth either retain employment at their job sites or identify and attain new employment opportunities
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Step 1: Identify & Assess

Identify

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.

Assess

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.

2014 Target Neighborhoods
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

Step 2: Train & Prepare

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:

  • Financial literacy: understanding core components of budgeting, money management, how to handle checks and cash, and opening a checking account
  • Essential skills: how to dress for work, navigate coworker relationships, improve interpersonal skills, handle conflict, and present yourself professionally
  • Job readiness: how to assemble a resume, fill out an application, respect authority, and approach an interview

Step 3: Employ

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:

  • Area of interest – during our assessment phase we help a youth identify viable career trajectories and interests. We do our best to connect them to experience in this field.
  • Demand-driven skillbuilding – we work in tandem with the Department of Labor and the Chamber of Commerce to identify areas of growing demand in our region. We strategically deploy youth in these areas of growing demand so that by the time they graduate, they are ready to work in industries that are ready to hire them.
  • Local businesses – in some cases, the most important success factor for youth is proximity. We connect these youth with local businesses who are an important part of the fabric of their community.
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Step 4: Follow Up & Support

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.

All this effort produces measurable results, which external evaluators collect and review with us.