Here at Project REBUILD we have talked for years about creating a comprehensive program that would help acclimate the youth involved in our construction technologies program as well as other high school students that may benefit from the program to the business/work community.
In 2010, the talk transformed to reality as we were selected to become part of a national mentoring alliance comprised of 49 other YouthBuild USA affiliates located across the country. As a result of a successful first year, we were a recipient of funding again in 2011 and in September we started a new group of participants.
Our participation in this alliance provides technical advice, best practices, evaluation and funding to support our ability to start this program at Project REBUILD. The alliance will become a the model for a national program that all YouthBuild affiliates will incorporate into their programs, with a specific focus on 16, 17 and 18 year old students.
Project REBUILD has a very specific plan for our Business Advocate Program…
- Create a strong career/business/community service based program.
- Identify businesses within our community that will serve as, or identify, one or more employees to be paired with a youth enrolled at Project REBUILD.
- Require a time commitment of four hours each month for nine months (a typical school year timeline) and one weekly contact for the following five months.
- Foster a program culture that builds healthy, trusting relationships with the young person and helps to instill a strong work ethic.
- Provide training and continued support to all Business Advocate volunteers.
- Ensure security for the youth by requiring all Business Advocates to pass a state and federal BCI background check (paid for by Project REBUILD through the grant).
- Specific activities will be held the second Tuesday of each month, beginning in September, from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Project REBUILD facility located at 406 Shorb Ave. NW in Canton. Employers must be agreeable to allow the Business Advocate time to attend those sessions.
- Some sessions will include group activities that include a guest facilitator, touring other Business Advocates place of employment, providing “job shadowing” opportunities for the participating youth.
- Other sessions will be community service focused, with projects identified collaboratively by the youth and the Business Advocate.
We believe this is an outstanding opportunity to engage area businesses and their employees in a unique and highly needed program…with very specific, reasonable time commitments and defined outcomes.
We welcome the opportunity to meet with you personally to further discuss the Business Advocate initiative and get your ideas and input.
Thank you for considering participation… and helping us prepare the next generation for success!