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MISSION STATEMENT

The BCREB Jobs 4 Youth project will increase and enhance youth employment and work-based learning opportunities by establishing a clearinghouse model through which youth and employers can be better prepared and supported.

Why a Jobs 4 Youth Project in Berkshire County?

Youth unemployment has risen to an alarming level nationwide. The problem is a direct reflection of the economy, but there are steps that can be taken at the local level to diminish the obstacles and make this challenge more manageable.

The Berkshire County project is being spearheaded by the Berkshire County Regional Employment Board (BCREB), in partnership with local high schools, Berkshire Works Career Center, and the RECONNECT Center. The project will be an ongoing effort to engage with and support as many employers and business groups as possible in order to enhance employment and work-based learning opportunities for youth ages 14-21.

GOALS

  1. A single clearinghouse model through the BCREB has been established. Youth, employers, and the community at-large can be supported for the purpose of developing the future workforce and encouraging career pathways. Efforts to engage employers will be ongoing.

  2. A support system will be available to support the youth-employer relationship by offering the guidance necessary:
    1. a. For in-school youth, there are assigned staff and structured work readiness training through school district and Career Center work- based-learning programming;

    2. b. For out-of-school youth, the RECONNECT Center will serve as a community "Guidance Office" that can mentor youth to solve problems and define short and long term career goals;

    3. c. Continuous work readiness sessions will be established at Berkshire Works Career Center for all Berkshire County youth ages 14-21 to ensure proficiency in basic skills upon their entrance into the workplace;

    4. d. An employer toolkit will be established to serve as a one-stop reference for employers who are providing internships and various work-based learning experiences, participating in career exploration activities and/or hiring youth for part/full time employment opportunities.

  3. Ensure continuous improvement of this system through employer feedback regarding needs and lessons learned.

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