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      With the state and nation's youth employment rate continuing to remain at historic lows since the 1940's; it is becoming increasingly more critical for workforce investment professionals to rely on the generosity of their business communities in providing youth with enriching work-based-learning opportunities. A myriad of current research supports the distinct correlation between young adults work experiences and their academic and occupational achievements.

To address the local challenge, the Berkshire County Regional Employment Board, Inc. (BCREB) as the BERKSHIRE JOBS 4 YOUTH lead agency, is inviting employers and businesses to collaborate through any one of a menu of choices, from hiring youth to providing internships, to sponsoring opportunities such as job-shadowing, tours of the workplace, mini-career fares, and/or supporting the mission in an advisory capacity.

To facilitate this effort, the BCREB has established a single clearinghouse approach to act as a resource for youth, employers, the business community, high schools, and the community at-large. The BCREB, through its Board, Youth Council, and advisory groups, networks with many sectors of the business community and with schools and community agencies.

The BCREB has fortified this network through a 3-way partnership with Berkshire Works Career Center and with the RECONNECT Center. This will include Work Readiness workshops through Berkshire Works that will lead to a recognizable Certificate of Completion. The RECONNECT Center will offer its mentoring services as a community "guidance office," especially for out-of-school youth who may need assistance with problem-solving and choosing a career pathway.


Youth need employers!

  • To develop a relevant base of experience upon which to make life decisions;
  • To be exposed to various industry clusters in order to understand the culture of the workplace and develop job specific skills;
  • To work with positive role models in the workplace to build self-confidence and self-esteem in meeting career aspirations

Employers need youth!

  • To have the opportunity to directly shape the region's future workforce within their industries and develop a pool of potential employees;
  • To diversify their workplace by bringing in the current technology savvy knowledge-base characteristic of today's youth population;
  • To help meet corporate expectations and community responsibilities;

Please click here for more information on the Berkshire Jobs 4 Youth Initiative.

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