The goal of the Youth Run Business program is to improve outcomes for youth 16-21 by supporting them in developing job-related skills and in transitioning to employment or post-secondary education programs. We work closely with Sitka School District, Alaska's Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, and Sitka's Job Center to provide these services.
The three components of this program are:
1) Job Skills Education
We conduct formal and informal classroom instruction where we support young adults to develop skills necessary for finding and securing employment. Topics include Futures Planning, personal goal setting, networking, resume building, job searching, filling out job applications, financial literacy, appropriate work attire, and interviewing among others. We also focus on "soft skills" that were identified by local businesses as important for entry-level employees to possess such as work ethic, time management, and responsibility. Students can earn academic credit toward high school graduation or GED requirements for successful completion of this class.
2) Work Experience
We assist youth to develop work experience through internships with local businesses which we help them arrange.
Our own Youth Run Business will be a mobile smoothie and coffee truck. Youth will be supported by a YAS Skills Trainer while they work and earn vocational credit as well as a stipend. The skills that they will develop in the Youth Run Business include interpersonal skills, time management, customer service, and money handling. The Youth Run Business will provide the opportunity for youth to gain real work experience which they can add to their resume and build upon in the future.
3) Transition Services
Our Skills Trainers help connect youth with mainstream workforce and/or other post-secondary opportunities. They support youth in their job search, building a resume, submitting applications, preparing for interviews, and other skills necessary for finding employment. If applicable, they refer youth to external organizations and services that will aid youth in finding employment. Once a youth has obtained employment, the youth’s treatment team coordinates services and interventions to support the youth in maintaining employment.