Youth Jobs Partnership

Organization Information:

Organization Name:
Scranton Road Ministries Community Development Corporation
City & State:
Organization Website:
Organization's Mission Statement

Scranton Rd. Ministries Community Development Corporation actively contributes to the social, economic, spiritual and physical revitalization of the Greater Cleveland community and its people. Serving in Ohio’s most diverse neighborhood, we are committed to representing, protecting, and investing in our youth and families, and to promoting a community-based economic development.

Submission Information

Impact Essay

Scranton Rd. Ministries C.D.C. provides a portfolio of comprehensive services to a diverse population of low-income youth and adults across the Greater Cleveland community. One offering within that portfolio, Youth Jobs Partnership, is a Workforce Development initiative that provides Cleveland’s young adults, ages 16-22, with relevant and highly collaborative job training.

Youth Jobs Partnership (YJP) leverages strategic partnerships to transform disenfranchised youth into a highly-competent workforce with marketable skills and a solid work-ethic, and then transitions each graduate into either gainful employment or appropriate further training with systematic post-placement support.

The Microsoft Software and Technologies that we have procured through TechSoup have greatly strengthened Youth Jobs Partnership and its positive impact across the community in the following ways:

1. A multi-tiered YJP Program Database, created with Microsoft Access, has allowed us to centralize all participant information (including demographics, program and educational performance, and key data, etc.) as well as run queries for program evaluation and assessment, and create custom reports for key program stakeholders. This database has not only significantly increased program efficiencies, but has provided the foundation to share critical program data and results with numerous stakeholders.

2. Even though many youth in our target population have ‘social’ computing skills, the majority lack the professional computer literacy they need to advance educationally and succeed professionally. Therefore, we engage participants with a rigorous curriculum designed to sharpen their computer skills- mostly utilizing the MS Office Suite. Some examples include:

a. Students create a Personal Budget and Savings Plan in MS Excel. They utilize Excel’s functionality to track, categorize and tabulate monthly spending habits, to graph savings goals, and to analyze investing options, based on categorical data.

b. Students create Resumes, Cover Letters and Reference Lists on MS Word.

c. Participants create 2 Professional Presentations per semester in MS PowerPoint and present them to a panel of judges consisting of instructors, peers and mentors. The first is biographical and the second presents a Business Plan they developed as a team. Through the process, students sharpen computer, communication, writing and presentation skills, while also being engaged through digital technology.

3. Utilizing MS Office Suite and some Windows Vista applications has increased our organizational and program efficiencies and capacity, allowing us to provide a broader scope of services to a larger number of at-risk youth. Some examples include MS Outlook, Windows Calendar and Windows Meeting Space.

4. YJP Students are required to re-invest the skills they acquire in the program by serving in Community Service Projects that benefit a large segment of local residents. Some examples include:

a. Participants utilize MS Publisher to create marketing materials to advertise a Community Health Fair they help implement- which provides free Health Screens and food for over 950 people annually.

b. Students participating in our Advanced Training are challenged to serve as Tutors in a Computer Literacy Class we offer for local adults. Under the direction of a Certified Instructor, YJP Students help adults acquire basic computer proficiency and MS Office Suite skills.

5. Moving forward, we plan to offer the Microsoft Office Specialist Certification Program to an appropriate segment of our target population. This certification will provide our participants the competitive advantage they need in a challenging job market. Updated Microsoft software would not only allow us to provide this strategic training, but enhance & replace some of the dated software we’re using to implement the other critical Training services listed above.

Some key demographics that define the target population for Youth Jobs Partnership include: · Only 46% of the students who enter 9th grade in our local high schools actually graduate.· The unemployment rate in our target area is 17%- exceeding state and national averages.· An average of 60% of local families with children live at or below 100 percent of poverty.· The 2000 census indicates that our primary target area is the most diverse community in Ohio

Of the many challenges facing our target area, the issues of unemployment and the local high-school dropout rate present some of the greatest challenges, and yet some of the greatest potential for positive reform. Cleveland’s relatively anemic job market makes it difficult for local residents to secure gainful employment, especially those lacking the skills to compete in a challenging market. In addition, many of our neighbors have not had access to the educational and Computer Technology resources to strengthen their job-skills. We’re committed to provide Cleveland’s most vulnerable residents with the transferable skills and computer proficiency they need to succeed in the marketplace.

Over the last 18 months, Youth Jobs Partnership has produced the following results:

1. YJP has provided over 1,391 of Cleveland’s low-income youth with comprehensive Job-Training and Placement Services that consists of the following:

a. Personal Development- Professional Character (Sample Topics: Integrity, Excellence in the Workplace, Conflict Resolution, Communication, etc.), and Personalized Instruction (through Mentors and Personal Achievement Plans)

b. Professional Development- Students create a Portfolio and gain Transferable Skills.

· Professional Portfolio- Resume, Cover Letter(s), References and Personal Budget

· Computer Literacy- Students are trained extensively in the entire MS Office Suite.

· Personal Finance (budgeting, investments, debt, credit and saving) and College Planning.

2. Placements- 86% of program participants have been placed in the next appropriate opportunity (Living-wage Job, College or Continuing ed.) based on Career aspirations, personal situation and aptitude. We utilize systematic post-placement procedures (including an MS Access Database) to track retention rates and continue supporting program graduates.

3. Within a community plagued by a 46% High School graduation rate, 95% of the students participating in our Programming have graduated from High School and continued on to further opportunities.

Submission Category
Transformations to Maximize Impact
Project Image
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