SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Preparing families for a future job is a goal one nonprofit can soon act on after receiving a generous grant.
The Jeanette L Musgrave Foundation presented a $30,000 grant to support the Boys and Girls club’s workforce development program.
The nonprofit has actually been teaching job skills for a while and in creative ways.
Believe it or not, teens like Madison Krause are learning job skills while playing games.
“It’s really taught me how to be more open as well as also communicate better with people,” Krause said. “Being able to talk to others just in general, that can be beneficial to you.”
Teen coordinator Mariah Crawford works with 13 – 18-year-olds at the Boys and Girls club.
“The school system teaches them math and English and those types of skills, where I try and focus on life skills that they may not learn elsewhere,” Crawford said.
Crawford teaches them how to sew, use power tools and change a tire.
“It’s important to be prepared,” Krause said.
Her nonprofit will be able to expand on these lessons soon with its new workforce development program.
“One of the goals of this program is to help address the cycle of poverty and make sure that people have access to well-paying, sustainable jobs,” CEO of Boys and Girls Clubs of Springfield Brandy Harris said.
Harris says kids kindergarten through eighth grade will attend career fairs, tour small businesses and meet business mentors.
“Their experience starts at the foundational level,” Harris said.
When those kids become teens, they would be able to get mentorship and real-life experience working in the community and their pay stub would come from the nonprofit.
“Experiences like that I think are things that can actually change the trajectory of a kid’s life, and that’s what’s really important to us,” Harris said.
Parents can also learn about the job market, go to job fairs and take workshops in financial literacy and basic life skills.
“What we hope to do with this family piece is just remove a barrier to that information and help connect people to the right jobs,” Harris said.
Harris says the Boys and Girls Club partners with organizations like O’Reilly Hospitality Management, O’Reilly Auto Parts and the Missouri Job Center.
This program will launch in August at Williams Elementary which is the O’Reilly unit.