Out-of-School Time Program Prepares Teens for Workforce by Offering Workshops on Employability Skills  

In March 2021, longtime participant of the Palm Beach County Quality Improvement System Achievement Centers for Children and Families offered workshops on professionalism, dressing for success and understanding your own identify for 42 teens in attendance as part of a new pilot program, The Employability Skills Training (EST) Program.  Youth in attendance also had the opportunity to have some fun, as Lloyd Chin from the City of Delray Beach hosted an archery workshop.  

“Saturday’s workshop on professionalism was informative and refreshing. I learned the proper attire to wear on job interviews, maintaining eye contact and workplace etiquette. I hope to work my dream job after I graduate from college. I love how the Achievement Center allows me to be creative, allows me to volunteer events and teaching me employability skills.” – Eshal Hoque, Teen Attendee 

“Working with the staff at the Achievement Centers for Children and Families at Village Academy is such a privilege.  They strive to provide meaningful and authentic experiences for their youth while embracing the whole child and caring for their families as well.  It is an honor to work with them.” – Anita Winkis, Quality Advisor, Prime Time Palm Beach County 

The community-based, family-focused organization, which has been part of the Quality Improvement System for 15 years,  is dedicated to providing opportunities where under-resourced children and youth may thrive in a positive environment. These programs support educational growth, skill-building and healthy lifestyles that can create a positive and lasting impact for the children they serve.   

Achievement Center’s Teen Coordinator Erica Tigner says “Prime Time trainings and events that I attended prepared me for my past and current position. The trainings taught me icebreakers that I can incorporate in lesson plans and during workshops I have the teens participate in. I utilize the skills I need to run my program efficiently.” 

EST provides high school-aged youth with an opportunity to develop job related skills, while working at the Morton Downey Family Resource Center each Saturday from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.,providing programming to high school youth in the community. The entry level positions are designed to support the interests and future career aspirations of high school youth, allowing those involved in the program to gain valuable experience working while earning community service hours and monthly monetary incentives. Some of the positions offered at the program include:  

• Teen Art Specialist  

• Teen Café Hospitality Specialist  

• Teen Entrance Specialist  

• Teen Gym Specialist  

• Teen Game Specialist  

• Teen Studio Specialist  

“The workshop helped me to understand the do’s and don’ts in a place of employment. The hosts gave us valuable information to prepare us for the future. I hope to work a part-time job during the summer at Publix. I love how the Achievement Center is preparing me for that.” – Biously Jean, Teen Attendee 

“One key takeaway was appearance plays a key part of the hiring process. Dress properly for the interview and maintain eye contact with the interviewer. I hope one day I will be the interviewer hiring for my future company. The Achievement Center teaches us life skills and to think of future careers we may interested in.”- Jamyyah Gerring, Teen Attendee 

Teens enrolled in the EST Program will have access to at least one additional workshop per month in topics ranging from resume writing and interview skills to career exploration and even a behind-the-scenes look at business in the community. There is no fee for either the Saturday program or the EST Program, but youth should register ahead of time to attend.    

For more information Contact:  
Erica Tigner ,  
Teen Coordinator, Achievement Centers for Children and Families 

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