It’s Workforce Development Month! BGCA’s Erica Warren is bringing creative ideas for making learning from Career Launch activities go even farther.
September is Workforce Development Month, so we’re discussing BGCA’s workforce readiness program Career Launch today. Career Launch was recently refreshed to add sessions and content applicable to the 21st Century workforce. I love the new sessions, but some good ideas were left on the drafting floor. This blog will discuss alternative endings to my favorite Career Launch sessions.
Youth today want to make a difference in the world, and more than ever, they dream about careers that allow them to combine work with their passions. The first session of Career Launch, Passion + Problem = Pathway, helps youth as young as middle school start to identify the things they care about and begin making a pathway to that career possible. Use this session early in your Career Launch programming and have youth revisit their Passion + Problem = Pathway handout regularly as their interests and understanding of the world shift over time.
Punch it up: Watch this video of people sharing their perspectives on pursuing their passions. I love this video because of the diversity of the interviewees and the diversity of answers. The video is sponsored, but I still love the content. You can select segments of the video to show to youth, rather than show the entire
In this session, youth identify things they wish were different in their community and identify ways their career can help address these community problems. You can pair this activity with a community empathy walk. If it is safe, the summer months are a great time to do a community empathy walk. If you can’t walk outside, you can have youth do an imaginary walk through their communities. Walk to local schools, walk through their neighborhoods, walk through the nearest park or rec center. Have youth identify ways their community is great and things that could use some change as they walk. Make sure to emphasize that youth have agency within their communities and help them identify ways to make things better today and in the future as a career. Pair this session with Session 5: (Design) Thinking Outside the Box for more information on using empathy in the design process.
The best career exploration is when youth experience a career field hands-on. One way to make this session come alive is to have a community volunteer teach skills they use in their career. Traditional career day involves someone telling youth about their jobs, instead, having the volunteer or guest speaker teach a hands-on skill. For example, someone who works in public speaking can teach the youth how they prepare for a speech and have groups of youth prepare a speech of their own. Or someone who works in the medical field can show youth how to measure blood pressure using a blood pressure monitor.
I love the idea of having youth and teens imagine themselves in the future. To extend this activity, you can have youth create a Get Ready with Me video (#GRWM) with them pretending to prepare for their future career using the identity they thought about during the session. Alternatively, you could have them draw a career avatar (you can provide magazines and other images for them to create a collage around their avatar). Have youth think about what someone in their chosen career might wear. What time do they get up in the morning? What kinds of activities would they be able to do with their salary? It’s important to dream big, but this might be a great way to bring in some reality by helping youth understand salaries, debt (college loans), and other bills (rent, electricity) as they think about their ultimate lifestyle.
This Workforce Development month, we have some exciting opportunities to connect and learn. Join the all new Workforce Readiness Community on BGCA.net Workforce Readiness Community – BGCA.net. During the month of September, we will have contests and prizes for participating in the community, so join today! Also, join us every Wednesday this month for Workforce Bootcamp. You can sign up at https://bit.ly/workforcemonth. We are ALWAYS interested in your feedback. You can review any activity on ClubPrograms, and we hope you do!