Project offers local youth paid learning and career development experience
Forty youth, ages 14 – 24, are currently in Week 3 of a 5-week summer (paid) employment experience at Providence Public Library (PPL). They are participating in TEEN SQUAD: My City, My Place and receiving technology and career skill development as they work their way through four highly engaging “digital playlists.”
Each playlist (details below) includes connected learning opportunities and resources that allow participants to explore their interests in ways that relate to academic achievement, career development and civic engagement. Completion of the playlists will result in career awareness, work readiness and tech skills, as well as digital badges. The experience is delivered as part of the Library’s three-year $530,000 IMLS (Institute of Museum and Library Services) grant focused on teen workforce development. A matching grant, it represents a $1.6 million initiative to which PPL is committed to implementing as one of the its key educational program focus areas.
“This project is an on-the-ground project focused on teen workforce development and the role that public libraries can play to address a vital community need. Informed by a collective impact framework, PPL has positioned itself as a leader in the community in this work through a variety of new and reimagined partnerships,” said Karisa Tashjian, Education Director at PPL.
These partnerships have resulted in PPL developing and offering interactive and engaging competency-based programming so that teens/youth gain the skills and knowledge to participate in a 21st-century workforce. PPL’s formerly nascent Teen Squad has now been elevated to be our signature teen programming model driven by youth interests, workforce readiness, and 21st Century skills.
This summer program is run in conjunction with Community Action Partnership of Providence – CAPP and Comprehensive Community Action, Inc. – CCAP, utilizing state youth summer employment funds. Organizations also involved in delivering the program include: Leadership Rhode Island, Social Enterprise Greenhouse, Rhode Island Hospitality Association, Food4Good and Doors Open Rhode Island, sharing knowledge and expertise with the Teen Squad youth.
This summer the participants are working with Hospitality, Tourism, and Marketing professionals, as well as PPL staff, to highlight points of interest in Providence. Participants are being taught how to edit video and images, receive and implement feedback and deliver a marketing pitch with a tourism focus.