We believe the first job is an essential experience for the growth and development of a young person. The Choice Jobs Program allows youth to carve a unique pathway to employment success in a supportive environment, with access to resources and opportunities they may otherwise not be afforded. Teams serve in Baltimore City.
We employ a three-part model to job development:
Curriculum-based Job-Readiness Training
Choice Jobs youth participate in 6 interactive classroom-style sessions of initial job-readiness training. We provide training on the hard and soft skills necessary for our young people to obtain and retain employment. Our AmeriCorps members not only focus on imparting work skills, but also on building the life and social skills necessary to mitigate other barriers to success.
On-the-job training at our Flying Fruit (FF) Social Enterprise
Our youth then have the opportunity to put their newly acquired skills to use by participating in our on-the-job training program at one of our three Flying Fruit locations (Inner Harbor kiosk, Camden Yards stand, and University of Baltimore café). Young people sharpen their skills and make mistakes within a safe environment, all while earning money. The FF social enterprise creates approximately 140 paid experiences for youth participants annually.
Supported job placement
Upon completion of our on-the-job training program, youth get assistance with transitioning into unsubsidized longer-term employment opportunities. Choice AmeriCorps members and staff work to build relationships with employers to help link youth with opportunities to flourish in the local workforce. We continue to offer guidance and support, as needed, to ease youth into their new settings.
The AmeriCorps members serve youth through:
- Leading group job-readiness workshops
- Providing transportation and coaching on job searching and application completion
- Providing interview practice
- Mentoring Flying Fruit social enterprise participants at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, or the University of Baltimore Law School
- Leading financial literacy training
- Building relationships with local employers to offer a pathway to community employment
- Linking youth to employment or school placements for post-program success
- Connecting youth to community partners for additional services such as substance abuse counseling, food resources, or housing