The third annual Youth Employability Skills Workshop will arrive in Plant City this Saturday. Interested youth are asked to register today to attend.
Landing that first job is always a hurdle for youth as they struggle to format a resume with little to no prior experience and land an interview.
Building Strong Families, Inc. is hoping to make that process easier by offering an interactive workshop on May 18 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. This is the third time the Youth Employability Skills Workshop has come to town and Dr. Pauline Rivers, founder and president of Building Strong Families, Inc., said it’s going to be bigger than ever.
“We, as an organization, focus on support for the whole family,” Rivers said. “One of the things we were seeing was some of the high school students in particular were trying to get jobs and weren’t always being successful because they did not know how to navigate that process. We decided to create this workshop to help guide them through that and help them learn the skills they’ll need to be successful.”
The workshop will feature topics like cleaning up social media before you ever apply for a job, how to make a good first impression, how to fill out a job application, tips on building a resume with little prior experience, how to appropriately dress for the interview, how to seal the deal during the interview and then how to keep your job once you land one.
Lectures are boring and most youth, and people in general, learn better with hands on approaches. Rivers said the workshop is high energy and highly interactive, with everything from role playing, to fun activities and real life practice on filling out and completing applications and resumes.
The two years prior the event had been held at the Plant City Housing Authority’s conference room and a local church, respectively. This year the workshop is held at Bruton Memorial Library, 302 McLendon St. Hillsborough Safe and Sound and the Improvement League of Plant City are also partnering with the organization this year to help further develop the event.
A small team from each group will be on site and the new partners will help facilitate the Dress for Success aspect of the workshop.
“After the prior events the participants reached back out and let us know they really enjoyed it,” Rivers said. “A couple folks even reported back that they did in fact go on and get jobs thanks to the tips they learned at the workshop. We even had a parent attend with a student that called us later and asked for help with her resume. It’s an intimate setting and we’re teaching real skills that they can walk out that door and use immediately.”
They plan to keep attendance around 20 students so there is plenty of time for mock interviews and one-on-one guidance. They want to be able to answer any specific questions the attendees have and help them do everything from create smart resumes to helping them fill out a sample application.
Rivers said many of the local high schools are doing great work at helping juniors and seniors learn the career strategies they need to be prepared for employment following graduation day. However, the younger students who are going out to find their first or second job may not have learned those skills yet. They are who Rivers hopes will take the time to attend the workshop. Anyone age 15 up to college students in their first year are welcome to attend.
She asks parents at least come and sign their student in if they don’t plan to stay with them so they have a chance to meet them and get a feel for the workshop, especially if they have a 15-year-old student.
“We are very excited, we think it will be informative and very practical and hands on and we think they’ll have some fun while they’re learning,” Rivers said. “It’s very important for us that it’s fun and hands on and they learn things they can immediately take home and use… This is where I live, this is my home so this is the area I really wanted to target. I think there are a lot of things that happen in Tampa, Brandon and the Eastern part of Hillsborough County doesn’t always get the same resources and services that the Western part gets.”
Building Strong Families, Inc. plans to continue this workshop for years to come and is always looking for community partners. To learn more about how you can get involved or to register for the event contact Rivers at 813-759-0260 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration is required and you can learn more about the organization at buildingstrongfamiliesofflorida.com.