Employment Readiness Services
Our youth are essential to the future of our communities, but many are in desperate need of guidance and support that teaches them simple job basics, such as how to write a resume, apply for a job, interview, and behave properly on the job. They are also unaware of their options for college and how to apply.
With early intervention and education, at-risk youth can learn the skills necessary to obtain and maintain employment, and to establish savings. Studies show that youth who have these skills are better able to find employment and less likely to be involved in criminal activity.
Our Employment Readiness Services provide local teens with:
- a safe place to learn valuable skills they can use personally and professionally;
- meaningful hands-on employment experience, reducing the amount of time available for risky behaviors; and
- a network that provides guidance and support.
Middle Earth offers these services that to help youth gain and keep employment:
Middle Earth’s PROMISE Program is a structured program for Somerset County youth, ages 14-19, that helps them to improve academic success; learn job readiness skills; and gain employment experience. Participants receive:
- up to 12 weeks of assessment, goal identification, tutoring and academic support, community service, life skills education, and support services,
- 2 weeks of job readiness training and credentialing, and
- 8 weeks in a paid internship.
The VISIONS Program provides work readiness training and credentialing services to out-of-school youth, ages 16-24, who are low-income, reside in Somerset or Hunterdon Counties, and face life challenges.
The purpose of the Visions Program is to provide youth with lessons on employment readiness and the expectations of employers, offer community service opportunities, and have them obtain the National Work Readiness Credential (which is explained below).
Program youth are paid a stipend for their participation in instruction time. Youth are also provided with support services to help them manage any challenges they are facing. Upon completion of the program, youth can potentially access up to $4000 towards school/training.
Big Dan’s Bike Shop
Named after Middle Earth’s former Executive Director, Dan Puntillo, who has a passion for cycling, Big Dan’s Bike Shop offers:
- lessons on:
- the basics of bicycle mechanics,
- employment readiness skills,
- business management skills (entrepreneurial, leadership, team-building, financial, marketing, and customer service skills),
- community service and Pop-Up Bike Shops at community events,
- a paid internship to apply their learned skills, and
- an opportunity for job placement at a local bike shop or business.
Middle Earth teens offer bicycle repair to the community, as well as, collect old bicycles to repair and then, sell, for a donation. Youth, under staff supervision, have full ownership in the Shop, making valuable contributions to its success in all aspects, ranging from inventory to marketing to customer service.
Big Dan’s Bike Shop – It starts with a bike, and ends with opportunity!
National Work Readiness Credential
Middle Earth recently became an approved site to administer the National Work Readiness Credential (NWRC) test and is the only testing location in Somerset County. The NWRC is the first nationally recognized assessment for entry-level workers to provide a national standard for work readiness, issued through the National Work Readiness Council. The Council created a skills profile and assessment that measures the foundational skills of employment, using real world scenarios in active listening and situational judgment, oral language, reading with comprehension, and using math to solve problems.
When individuals successfully complete the assessment and receive the NWRC, it is confirmation that they have the skill set necessary to add value to the workplace, which can give them an advantage over others that are applying for employment.