Annual YouthForce Job Fair & Career Showcase attracts teens
FOR THE GAZETTE
STEVENS POINT — The Boys & Girls Club of Portage County hosted more than 175 teens and 50 adult family members at its 2nd annual YouthForce Job Fair & Career Showcase, Wednesday, May 3, at its Berard Center in Stevens Point.
Director of Workforce Development, Jeremy Higgins, said, “Our goal was to offer a fun and engaging opportunity for teens interested in working to meet a wide range of employers with jobs available to them in the community. With nearly 40 percent of participating employers indicating they met someone at the job fair they are likely to hire, I think the event was a huge success.”
Fifty-four employers and organizations representing at least 12 different career clusters presented job, career, and post-secondary education opportunities. Some employer comments about the event included, “Great set-up and lively atmosphere. Best job fair I’ve been a part of!” and “We know the population [teens] are not yet working age for us, but it is important to get exposure to future opportunities.”
The job fair included employer stations where teens received educational and career materials, on-the-spot interviews for summer positions, fun activities, food and beverages, and lots of giveaways and prizes, including Apple AirPods, a JBL speaker, and more.
Boys & Girls Club’s YouthForce workforce development initiative began in 2021 and is made possible in part through grants from Taco Bell, US Ventures, Associated Bank, Best Buy, and a partnership grant with Mid-State Technical College and the WI Department of Workforce Development.
YouthForce programming is being developed for all age groups served by the Boys & Girls Club, but also serves non-members throughout central Wisconsin. Career exploration activities are offered to younger children. A Junior Staff program provides jobs and mentoring for teens ages 14-15. Additional teen activities include Career Camps, certification courses, job seeking assistance, post-secondary pathway help, and even work permits. Professional development opportunities are offered to college students who work at the Boys & Girls Club.
For more information about YouthForce workforce development programming at the Boys & Girls Club or the YouthForce Job Fair & Career Showcase visit www.bgclubpc.org/workforce-development or contact Jeremy Higgins, Director of Workforce Development at 715-341-4386 or [email protected]
About the Boys & Girls Clubs of Portage County
The Boys & Girls Club of Portage County has been empowering youth in our community for over 20 years and is the leading youth-serving organization in central Wisconsin. The Boys & Girls Club serves over 2,000 youth aged 6-18 annually at twelve Club sites across the county, including the Berard (Stevens Point) and Schierl (Plover) Centers and several elementary school-based Club sites. These Club sites provide a safe, positive place for members after school and in the summer. For a nominal membership and enrollment fee, Club members receive engaging enrichment programs, sports and recreational activities, homework help, healthy meals and snacks, access to caring adult mentors, and assistance finding employment and preparing for a career. The Boys & Girls Club’s mission is to inspire and empower our youth to realize their full potential. For more information or to donate, visit the website and Facebook pages at www.bgclubpc.org and www.facebook.com/bgclubpc.