Developing the “soft” skills necessary to be successful in the workforce is the goal of a new teen program offered by the Fort Ritchie Community Center. The Community Center has received a $30,000 grant from the Rural Maryland Council to pilot the new initiative. In addition to learning new skills, the teens will also have the opportunity to earn some money, according to Buck Browning, executive director of the Community Center.
“The teens will have the chance to earn stipends as they successfully complete the skill development sessions,” Browning said. “Along with our local partners in this initiative, we felt it was very important to make the program simulate an employer-employee relationship. Thanks to the funding from the Rural Maryland Council, the teens will be able to earn and begin to manage money.”
The job skills program will have three main components: Education, Practice, and Evaluation. The education component will provide information to the participants on skills as basic as how to professionally answer a telephone call and take a message for a co-worker. Activities will be fun and very interactive, according to Connor Brown, operations director for the Community Center and the staff in charge of the program.
“The instructional portion is going to be fast-paced and fun,” Brown said. “We will use a wide range of strategies and techniques to keep the messages clear, consistent, and understandable,” he added. Brown said the participants will then demonstrate their new skills as they are assigned tasks within the Community Center. “The teens will have a schedule just like our current employees and they will be expected to complete their assigned tasks with the training they have received as part of the practice and evaluation components.”
A participant-parent information meeting will be held at the Community Center on November 1, 2018, at 6:30 p.m. To register for the meeting or to find out more information on the program, please call the Community Center at 301-241-5085.