4-H career exploration and workforce preparation programs make an impact

As an important piece of Michigan 4-H, career exploration and workforce preparation programming reached 18,500 participants during 2015.

According to the Michigan Career Technical Education Snapshot for 2015, “Middle-skill jobs account for 54 percent of Michigan’s labor market, but only 49 percent of workers in Michigan possess the required skills, leading to a skills gap.” By 2018, the Marketing Career Cluster is projected to be Michigan’s largest cluster overall, and “about 59 percent of all jobs in Michigan will require some education and training beyond high school.”

4-H career exploration and workforce preparation programming reached 18,500 participants in 78 Michigan counties. Programming also reached 47 out-of-state clientele during 2015. This happened through 306 educational events, programs and workshops. Of those surveyed, 52 percent of career exploration and workforce preparation programming participants indicated they set high goals, and 57 percent work to achieve their goals as a result of their 4-H experiences.

Michigan State University Extension staff members and volunteers delivered programs and support around four themes with the following outcomes in mind.

Career exploration programming

  • Youth participants have an awareness of career and job opportunities related to their skills and interests.
  • Adult participants are trained to utilize career exploration curriculum.    
  • Youth participants have career or job goals enhanced through their programming experiences.
  • Adult participants teach career exploration concepts.    
  • Youth participants have a plan for their future career or job goal.

Entrepreneurship programming

  • Youth participants have an understanding of the foundations of how to start their own business using entrepreneurial concepts.
  • Adult participants are trained to utilize youth entrepreneurship curriculum.
  • Youth participants plan to apply entrepreneurial skills to their interests.
  • Adult participants teach entrepreneurial concepts.

Financial literacy and money management programming

  • Youth participants have a basic understanding of financial management.
  • Adult participants are trained to utilize youth financial literacy curriculum.
  • Youth participants plan to apply the financial skills learned to their everyday lives.
  • Adult participants teach financial literacy concepts.

Workforce preparation programming

  • Youth participants have basic knowledge of employability skills and have self-awareness as it relates to future career possibilities.
  • Adult participants are trained to utilize workforce preparation curriculum.
  • Youth participants apply skills necessary for employment.
  • Adult participants teach workforce preparation concepts.           
  • Youth participants are workforce ready.
  • Adult participants integrate workforce preparation education into programming.

As a result of attending one of our programs or events, program participants shared:

  • A career exploration program “completely changed what I want to pursue for my career.”
  • “I’ve dreamed of running my own business so with this experience I’ll have an idea of what to do.”
  • “In six months, I will have saved up a lot more money than I would have if I had not been in this program.”
  • “I practiced an interview and perfected my resume and it helped me a ton!”

For 4-H resources that may help you develop your future, check out our careers and entrepreneurship  materials.

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