Earlier this month, SkillWorks held our first grantee convening of 2016, which brought together new and continuing grantees and partners we will be working with this year. As always, it was a fantastic opportunity to get the majority of our grantees together in one room to share updates, spur discussion, strengthen networks, and facilitate knowledge, practice and idea sharing. The meeting was packed full of content and opportunities for interaction, with presentations and discussion sessions on the Signal Success soft skills curriculum, SkillWorks’ youth and young adult investment strategy, IT/Tech industry research results and updates, and more.
At the top of our agenda, we were joined by Jennifer Applebaum and Janel Granum of Commonwealth Corporation who presented on Signal Success, a comprehensive, project-based work readiness and career exploration curriculum designed and tested by education and workforce development partners to help young people develop essential skills for future success. Jennifer and Janel explained the key components of the curriculum, how it’s being implemented, and Comm Corp’s plans for expansion. They also shared results from a pilot study conducted over the 2014-15 school year at two high schools and one community based organization: Lowell High School, Malden High School, and Sociedad Latina. SkillWorks is currently supporting Comm Corp’s expansion of this curriculum into three Boston-area high schools. Learn more about Signal Success.
SkillWorks’ Program Associate, Kaitlyn Bean, also presented a draft version of SkillWorks’ burgeoning youth and young adult investment strategy for discussion and feedback. The draft strategy was well received and incited productive and valuable discussions on the importance of SkillWorks expanding into this space, where our priorities should be and how to best “stay in our lane” as a workforce development funder collaborative. More updates on SkillWorks’ youth and young adult investment strategy will be coming soon, delivered in part through a youth and young adult-focused blog series to raise awareness about SkillWorks’ presence in this space, our investment priorities, current work being done by our grantees and partners, best and promising practices, future investment plans and more. Stay tuned to learn more!
We also heard from SkillWorks’ Executive Director, Marybeth Campbell and research partner, Phil Jordan from BW Research regarding research into IT/Technology employment, occupations, and labor market in this region. SkillWorks and our partners will be releasing the results of this research later this year, coinciding with the formal launch of an employer-driven IT/Technology employer consortium. More news & updates on this coming soon!