Dorchester Chamber of Commerce Education Committee is teaming up with the new Dorchester County Public Schools Career Coaches to hold an information sharing session for all employers in Dorchester County. The Youth Workforce Lunch and Learn session is set for Friday, December 1, 2023, at Noon. The objective of the event is to help local businesses learn how to tap into the capable workforce found right here in our high schools. The session will cover multiple options for getting students engaged in the workforce while they are still attending high school.
The challenge with an adequate workforce is listed in the top three issues facing almost every business in the State of Maryland. We have a relatively untapped source of labor in our schools with the desire to learn and build job skills for their futures. We just need to make the connection between the employers and students in a way that works with student interests and educational needs. The Chamber believes the Career Coaches will be instrumental in making that happen.
“We are very excited about the creation of the new Career Coach roles at DCPS.” says Joel Bunde, Chair of the education committee. “They will be a tremendous resource for our students and a great asset for the business community as we work to solve the workforce challenges we face today.”
Over the past four years the Chamber has been working with DCPS and the State Department of Labor to help get the Youth Apprentice Program launched. While covid slowed progress, the program is now at a point where it can truly have a significant impact on the career development of our youth and a huge impact on the local workforce. The addition of Career Coaches within DCPS is going to be a catalyst for the growth of the program. There are many success stories locally and across the state for the Youth Apprentice Program already. The more students and businesses that get engaged in the program the faster we will realize improvements in our local workforce. It will be one of the key topics at the Lunch and Learn.
There are other ways to engage students and help with their career development and improved employability and those will also be discussed during the session. Some examples include internships (paid and unpaid), job shadowing, summer/seasonal employment, and just straight hiring a student while understanding and respecting the hours they are able to work while still in school.
The session will be held in the Chamber Conference Center and will have a webinar option for those that cannot make it to the in-person event. Lunch will be provided for those who attend in-person. There is no charge for the event, but you must register for either the in-person or online option.