It is rare for any person’s career to follow a linear path. All high school graduates should be afforded the necessary resources and support to explore, navigate, and solidify their future career. But for the communities we serve, there is no safety net. Our deep experience in youth workforce development has shown us that after high school graduation, there are additional, unique circumstances facing emerging young professionals from historically excluded communities that too often serve as a barrier to sustained career success.
Genesys Works Twin Cities is taking action to address this issue. Over the past four years, the team has been piloting a robust program aimed at deepening support for current interns and creating new offerings for Genesys Works alumni.
The College and Career Success program is set to provide the necessary resources and support to ensure the success of emerging young professionals. The pilot program includes four offerings:
- Direct workforce entry program exposure. Current students are receiving even more exposure to career pathways that lead directly into the workforce. Some of the tracks students are exposed to include Summit Academy OIC, Project for Pride and Living, and DreamCorps TECH. As part of the College and Career Connections Conferences hosted by the team, speakers from these programs provide students information to further explore specific industries and careers. These expanded activities provide students with an even broader view of career possibilities that may align with their interests and inspire new opportunities.
- Individualized support and resources. Upon program completion, Genesys Works alumni can opt-in to receive individualized support from team members as they navigate academic, social, and financial obstacles for the first time–obstacles that too often interfere or suspend career progression. Participants meet individually or in groups with staff and cover a wide range of issues from balancing college academics with home life or determining payment plans to finance their education. This support is critical to ensuring students have the necessary safety net to successfully achieve their career goals.
- Talent Development Pipeline (TDP). The signature feature of the alumni pilot, TDP is an innovative program designed to further propel emerging young professionals into their future business or technology career of choice. Genesys Works alumni have the opportunity to apply and upon acceptance, participate in an intentionally-designed yet adaptive trajectory of opportunities, including monthly professional development workshops, individualized academic and career coaching, connection to a network of mentors and recruiters, and access to post-secondary internships. The goal of TDP is for students to launch into full-time career opportunities aligned with their personal and professional interests.
- Post-Secondary Internships. This program provides the opportunity for young professionals to build on their high school work experience by continuing internships while in college. Individuals can apply to be matched with one of our existing partner companies for year-long internships. This allows emerging young professionals the opportunity to build upon their foundational business and technology experiences and expand future career possibilities while companies preserve and deepen their connections to local talent.
Twin Cities is pioneering the work for our program alumni and our goal is to continue perfecting the model to expand nationwide.
For more information about the Twin Cities College and Career Success Team, contact Jillian Hiscock, Director of College and Career Success.
To learn more about our plans to scale programming and expand geographically, contact Matthew Gajdowski, Associate Director of Program Strategy and Innovation.