Young Adult Career Initiative

By Kirk Fistick, MHD and Shana Jarvis, Aspire Youth

Kirk Fistick, MHD, gives tour to Aspire Youth

Over the past few months Mul­ti-Hous­ing Depot has devel­oped a unique work­force devel­op­ment part­ner­ship with a small Burling­ton Coun­ty orga­ni­za­tion called Aspire Youth Devel­op­ment. Since the col­lab­o­ra­tion began in late 2018, MHD has pro­vid­ed work expe­ri­ence “intern­ships” to six young men and women involved in a pro­gram called The Young Adult Career Ini­tia­tive (YACI).

YACI is fund­ed by the Burling­ton Coun­ty Work­force Devel­op­ment Board. It pro­vides no-cost ser­vices to young adults, ages 16–24 who meet spe­cif­ic eli­gi­bil­i­ty require­ments. Aspire has served close to 100 par­tic­i­pants through this pro­gram, pro­vid­ing a vari­ety of ser­vices, includ­ing sup­port with GED-class­es, work­place skills train­ing, per­son­al sup­port­ive ser­vices and sub­si­dies for paid work expe­ri­ence. A key com­po­nent of the pro­gram is also case man­age­ment and men­tor­ship, which helps ensure young adults not only have resources for suc­cess, but some­one to hold them account­able and pro­vide guid­ance on both career and life deci­sions.

Our ini­tial goals of the Aspire part­ner­ship were sim­ple: cre­ate oppor­tu­ni­ties to expose the emerg­ing work­force to career path­ways in the advanced man­u­fac­tur­ing indus­try and cre­ate a pipeline of young tal­ent with an entry-lev­el skill set. How­ev­er, over the past sev­er­al months our col­lab­o­ra­tion has devel­oped into a much more holis­tic expe­ri­ence for the interns and pro­vid­ed employ­ees with count­less ways to give back to their com­mu­ni­ty. Our employ­ees at MHD have embraced the part­ner­ship and specif­i­cal­ly embraced our YACI interns.

Dwight Sut­ton, MHD

The interns are cur­rent­ly in the sec­ond half of a 12 week paid-intern­ship, spend­ing about 30 hours per week work­ing along­side MHD staff in all stages of their career. Through­out the expe­ri­ence, sev­er­al employ­ees have stepped up to act as “Career Men­tors” to the new employ­ees. They pro­vide the interns with career-focused advice on oppor­tu­ni­ties in the indus­try and share their per­son­al career path­way sto­ries. Our staff has also devel­oped both pro­fes­sion­al and per­son­al friend­ships with the Aspire interns. When a recent per­son­al tragedy struck sev­er­al of the interns, our amaz­ing team of employ­ees stepped up to offer sup­port and resources. From a lis­ten­ing ear to pro­vid­ing tem­po­rary hous­ing sup­port, MHD employ­ees demon­strat­ed their com­pas­sion and com­mit­ment to ensur­ing the interns remain on a path to suc­cess. We look for­ward to con­tin­u­ing our part­ner­ship with Aspire Youth Devel­op­ment, to fos­ter an aware­ness and inter­est in the advanced man­u­fac­tur­ing indus­try and pro­vide career oppor­tu­ni­ties for at-risk young adults.

copyright © Multi-Housing Depot. All rights reserved

phone: 800-253-3855 | fax: 856-488-0442