Youth Engagement at YMCA of the Treasure Coast Rises with Staff Retention

Prime Time Palm Beach County began extending its supports in 2019 to Martin County out-of-school time (OST) programs through coaching, training and mentoring to help in increasing quality for OST practitioners, children and families.

Rates of staff turnover in youth-serving organizations are extremely high—as high as 40 percent per year, according to the Next Generation Youth Work Coalition (2010). Since working with Prime Time, the YMCA of the Treasure Coast (YMCA) has since seen a decrease in employee turnover.

“Prior to beginning work with Prime Time, the turnover rate among OST staff was very high. Prime Time, especially the training it provides, has made a tremendous difference in this area; factoring out turnover caused directly by the COVID-19 pandemic, our year-round, front-line OST staff turnover rate has essentially decreased to 0%.” – Robert W. Griggs, M.S., District Childcare Services Director, YMCA of the Treasure Coast

One study shows that adult relationships with non-family adults lasting for 12 or more months elicited more social and emotional improvement than did shorter relationships (Grossman and Rhodes, 2002). Through Prime Time’s training’s and advising support, staff at the YMCA are now excited to try out new ideas, strategies, and methods, which then leads to increases in student engagement.

“Our employees are staying on the job longer because they take greater ownership in the work and are more connected to the outcomes. Student engagement is higher than it has ever been.” – Robert W. Griggs

As schools closed in March 2020, Prime Time transformed its in-person offerings to ensure OST practitioners have access to the tools they needed to continue offering quality programming.

“In the 2020-2021 year, even considering intermittent COVID-19 quarantines, etc., attendance averaged nearly 90%, and completion rates increased to 89%!” – Robert W. Griggs


Grossman, J. B., & Rhodes, J. E. (2002). The test of time: Predictors and effects of duration in youth mentoring relationships. American Journal of Community Psychology, 30(2), 199–219. Retrieved from

Next Generation Youth Work Coalition. (2010). The case for investing in America’s youth workers. Retrieved from Statement_March_2010.pdf

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