The Michigan Works! Northeast Consortium’s Career Readiness & Exploration Summer Youth Program had 16 youth participate. All counties except Oscoda were represented. Participation was both virtual and in-person. Weeks 1 and 2 focused on soft skills, ethics, personal values, class values, and employability skills. Participants completed personality quizzes and career assessments. Weeks 3 and 4 focused on landing a job, covering resume writing, cover letters, applications, employment paperwork, and mock interviews, ending with a professional portfolio. Just over half the students plan to continue on with a Work Experience at a local business which suits their interests.
June 24—Conflict Resolution & Customer Service Workshop—John Metts, HR Manager at Springs Window Fashions presented the workshop to 16 students in Michigan Works’ Summer Youth program. The students were able to participate in person or through a video link. During his many years in law enforcement and human resources, John was able to deliver techniques and skills for resolving difficult situations that he learned in the field first hand. He also demonstrated scenarios to showcase good customer interactions – which includes coworkers, fellow classmates, etc. He emphasized the importance of establishing good relations with others and keeping communication lines open.
John enjoyed participating in the Summer Youth program and shared, “It’s impressive to see these students learning and growing during their summer breaks. It shows great initiative they are taking steps towards being successful. Nice job Michigan Works! for establishing this summer program.”
July 1—Workplace Professionalism Workshop—Nate Mead, Plant Manager at Air Way Automation presented Workplace Professionalism to 16 students enrolled in Michigan Works’ Summer Youth program which they attended the presentation in person or through a video link. Air Way Automation is a strong supporter of Michigan Works! programs that benefit the growth and career readiness for students in the community.
The students were able to learn what is acceptable behavior in the workplace and how to treat fellow coworkers and guests. Nate touched on: Expectations of how employees treat one another, What is acceptable & unacceptable discussions and talk in the workplace, What would be considered offensive talk, Dress code and presentation, Poor Teamwork - "It's not my job" attitude, Good Teamwork - coworkers have each other's back, Soft skills, Technical skills, and Entry level and career advancement at Air Way Automation.
July 5—Resume Workshop - Michelle Knepp, Human Resources Business Partner for Arauco presented a Resume Workshop to 16 students enrolled in Michigan Works’ Summer Youth program. The students were able to participate in person or through a video link. Michelle used her expertise and many years in the HR field to guide the students on what makes a resume stand out, and offered tips to get their resumes noticed.
Michelle enjoyed participating in the Summer Youth program and shared, “I hope that I was able to give them at least one piece of advice that helps them out. I know how hard it is to put together a resume right out of high school when you feel you have zero experience that is beneficial. They need to know that what they learned and experienced in High School is just the beginning of a successful future and they need to showcase that.”
July 15—Mock Interviews—Fourteen Summer Youth Program students from across the northeast region participated in virtual Mock Interviews performed in a round-robin style format. The Mock Interviews are designed to help students learn how to answer interview questions, develop confidence and experience going through the interview process, and improve communication skills. They also help students gain valuable feedback from professionals in hiring positions, and get pointers and tips to stand out during an interview.
Seven employers took part in the interviews from the following companies: AJD Forest Products, IBEW Union, Jansen Insurance Company, Kirtland Community College, Mind Body Institute, Onaway Custom Embroidery, Springs Window Fashions.
John Metts, HR Manager at Springs Window Fashions enjoyed being a part of the interviews and said, “I applaud Michigan Works! in their efforts to help prepare students to be successful. The Mock Interviews are an important piece in developing confidence in these young adults to communicate with business professionals.”