JA, BBB team up to prepare teens for workplace

Project Work Readiness will teach Junior Achievement’s seven Success Skills lessons to help young people become better students, employees and future business leaders.

Lesson 1

Personal work-readiness skills and personal-skills assessment.

Connections between personal assessment and dreams, goals and values.

Lesson 2

Uses and implications of nonverbal communication.

Role of cooperation, integrity and respect in effective teamwork.

Lesson 3

Effective speaking and listening skills for resolving conflict.

Strategies for effective problem-solving in the workplace.

Lesson 4

Techniques and methods for effective customer service.

Lesson 5

The importance and impact of customer service for a business.

Lesson 6

R sum writing.

Lesson 7

Effective interviewing.

Source: Junior Achievement of the Mahoning Valley Inc.




Junior Achievement of the Mahoning Valley has partnered with a local business watchdog to teach high school students the proper way to behave in the workplace.

The Youngstown Better Business Bureau has joined the local chapter of Junior Achievement to start Project Work Readiness.

Pat Rose, Better Business Bureau president, presented the youth organization with a check for $10,000 Tuesday to launch the joint venture.

Project Work Readiness will work with local high schools to teach students about business skills that will prepare them to enter the global work force, said Michele Merkel, president of Junior Achievement of the Mahoning Valley.

The organizations say they are concerned about a growing acceptance of unethical behavior among the nation’s young people.

Project Work Readiness will feature seven lessons taught by volunteers from the local business community. The sessions will cover a range of work-skill topics, including job interviewing, r sum writing, communication, work-conflict resolution and cooperation.

Each session will emphasize business ethics, which Junior Achievement believes is a skill set that has been woefully neglected among today’s young people, Merkel said.

She pointed to a recent survey on teen ethics conducted by Junior Achievement and Deloitte, which found that although 71 percent of teens say they feel “fully prepared” to make ethical decisions when they embark upon their careers, 38 percent said they believed they must cheat, steal, plagiarize or behave violently to succeed in school.

The fall program will reach about 400 young people, including students from Warren G. Harding High School, Austintown Fitch High School, Poland Seminary High School, Canfield High School and Choffin Career and Technical Center, she said.

Students who complete the program will be eligible to enter an essay on business ethics for a contest conducted by the Better Business Bureau. Winners will receive a $500 prize, sponsored by Better Business Bureau members.

“They understand that our youth are our strongest building block,” Rose said. “If we don’t understand that, our area will just grow older, and that is never good for a local economy.”

The organization also has asked its board members to consider asking human-resources officials from their respective companies to teach the sessions, Rose said.

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