The workforce is getting more and more competitive each year. Because of this, a group of our fellows saw the need to equip our younger generation with better skills for the workforce so that we “have a more productive society.” Led by Amber Kim, Reagan Matsumoto, Josiah Choy, and Maya Hiraki, these fellows created the College and Future Workforce Workshop to give our students an opportunity to learn about how to exceed in the career marketplace.
What is your project's vision and how did your team go about determining how to begin your project?
After meeting with the Chamber of Commerce, we realized that workers in our generation lack necessary soft skills. Countless employers said that although many of young workers have hard skills and knowledge, they struggle in areas such as communication, interviewing, and dressing. We wanted to better equip our generation for the 21st century workforce so we decided to do a workshop at a public school.
During your time in the fellows program, what was your team able to do?
Since we partnered with the Chamber of Commerce, we were able to attend their meetings to give employers a student’s perspective of the workforce. After interviewing employers and students on what they thought about the workforce and its needs, we met with the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium State Director, Bernadette Howard, who educated us on soft skills and how we could implement them in schools. We decided to conduct a workshop at Roosevelt High school to inform students about this necessary school. Throughout the program, we planned our curriculum, contacted the schools, and created PowerPoints and activities to teach the students.
Why do you think it is important to address workplace development and how do you think this can affect our community?
Our team thought that if we can change the way our generation views working than we could have a more productive society. It’s important that workers in our generation have both the hard skills and the soft skills they need to obtain jobs and do them well. If students are educated about soft skills, they can take that knowledge to create a better and more effective workplace and community.
How do you think the skills you have gained in the CTL fellows program have helped your project to succeed?
Through CTL, I learned how to effectively delegate and split up tasks. Everyone in our group was responsible for a different aspect of our project, which allowed the project to be very manageable. By inspiring a shared vision, we were able to envision our goals and all work together to accomplish them. We were able to share our passion for a changed workforce with students at Roosevelt so that they can, in turn, teach others what they have learned through our workshops.
Now that you are all officially alumni of the Center for Tomorrow's Leaders, what are your next steps?
Since I’ll be going to college next year at the University of Southern California, I’m hoping to be able to influence my campus and use the leadership skills I’ve learned through CTL in my clubs, internships, and future jobs.
Would you like to thank any specific people for their support/help?
First we would like to thank Ms. Katie Chang for leading our group and supporting us. We’d also like to thank the Chamber and their members for assisting us in gathering knowledge on the workforce from employers. Finally, we would like to thank Roosevelt High School for allowing us to conduct a workshop on their campus.