Impact of Michigan 4-H career exploration and workforce preparation programs

An overview of the significant impact from 2016 career exploration and workforce programming in Michigan.

Whether teaching specific topics or infusing programs with career exploration and workforce preparation content, Michigan 4-H makes a positive difference for the young people involved in our programming. Career exploration and workforce preparation programming reached 9,646 participants in 80 of Michigan’s 83 counties. In addition, programming reached more than 30 out-of-state participants during 2016.

This happened through 363 educational events, programs and workshops in the areas of career exploration, entrepreneurship, youth financial literacy and money management, and workforce preparation. Our outreach also provided visitors information through educational articles and resources on the Michigan State University Extension website. Moreover, our team completed and launched the new “Youth Business Guide to Success - Make the Most of Your 4-H Market Animal Project” curriculum and accompanying webpage. Youth Business Guide to Success is available through the MSU Extension Bookstore.

For five years, evaluation data show that career exploration and workforce preparation programming positively impacts goal-setting in youth surveyed. For 2016, 94 percent of youth surveyed indicated they have a plan for reaching their goals and 79 percent set goals for themselves as a result of participating in our programs. In addition to the skill of goal-setting, our evaluation data indicated that of those evaluated:

  • Entrepreneurship participants showed a significant increase in their understanding of sound business management practices. This would include good customer service, marketing, creating a budget and a business plan.
  • For financial literacy and youth money management, participants showed a significant increase in their understanding of good financial management practices. For example, creating a budget and the importance of saving early in life.
  • Workforce preparation participants showed significant increases in their knowledge surrounding workforce preparedness. This includes how to search for a job, the importance of networking, and their ability to perform key skills related to workforce preparedness such as putting together a resume and going on a job interview.
  • In the area of career exploration, participants showed a significant increase in their knowledge and skills surrounding career exploration. Career exploration includes skill in identifying potential fields of interest and knowing how to research specific careers.

To learn more about the positive impact of Michigan 4-H career preparation, money management and entrepreneurship programs, read the Impact Report: “Preparing Michigan Youth for Future Careers and Employment.”

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