Need an intern? Clubhouse To Career interns look for workApr 01, 2021 02:39PM ● By Bill Hardesty
Clubhouse To Career Internships is a new program at the Best Buy Teen Tech Center. (Bill Hardesty/City Journals)
By Bill Hardesty | [email protected]
A new program at the Best Buy Teen Tech Center in South Salt Lake is starting to gain speed. Last October, the Club to Career Internships programs began. The program is now in phase two of three.
Usually, the program is a year commitment, but Promise SSL got a slow start. Between October and February, the 10 participants were taught soft skills for the workplace. Participants are 16-21 years old.
“While we were working on these soft skills as a group, we assess each person as an individual of why they were involved in the program and what their career path would be,” Tate Grimshaw, a Teen Tech Center facilitator, said.
Phase two is about creating work examples. Examples of participants career interest are: Architectural design; Architectural office work; Introduction to engineering; Business management; Animation/graphic design; Web development; Network solutions; and Animal training/animal care.
Grimshaw explained that after assessing them, “We gave them resources to help them along their path. All of this is leading up to preparing them for summer internships.”
Some examples of their project work are two participants who work with Mayor Cherie Wood’s office to create a video about housing. Another participant is developing a community podcast bringing diverse groups together to discuss subjects like working and education.
They are also working on resume and cover letter writing along with interviewing skills.
This phase occurs from June through August. Participants will work 60-120 regular part-time hours over six weeks.
Since this program is targeted at immigrants and refugees, Promise SSL wants to make sure no one is being taken advantage of. So, they are asking the interns are paid at least $10 an hour.
“This requirement is a bit of a roadblock for us. We are hesitant to decrease that requirement because of our own standards,” Grimshaw said.
Promise SSL is finding that companies are excited to help, but when they learn that they need to pay the intern, interest seems to wane.
Grimshaw is focusing on tech-based internships. The staff is working hard but are finding it a slow go.
Staring in January, Promise SSL partnered with the Canvas4acause.org organization to provide one-on-one mentoring for each of the program participants. They also offer biweekly lessons.
“They provide a lot more support and help than I can as an individual mentor,” Grimshaw said, “That has been very successful preparing them for these internships.”
Canvas4acause.org is a nonprofit organization that operates on a mission to inspire creative expression and empower youth.
Canvas4acause.org, in turn, has partnered with the South Salt Lake Chamber Women in Business to provide leadership opportunities at the 14 community centers in SSL.
“Working closely with the Promise SSL leadership team, we created a mentorship program specifically for their ‘Clubhouse to College/Clubhouse to Career’ initiative. This program is intended to empower, inspire and motivate mentees to explore professional opportunities, pursue their passions and build out their career vision through an artistic lens,” stated the Canvas4acause.org website.
Another partner is the Clubhouse Network. Their mission is “is to provide a creative and safe out-of-school learning environment where young people from underserved communities work with adult mentors to explore their own ideas, develop new skills, and build confidence in themselves through the use of technology. In support of that mission, The Clubhouse Network supports community-based Clubhouses around the world by providing start-up support, professional development, new technology innovations, evaluation and assessment, partnership opportunities, and access to an online community for youth, mentors, and staff,” according to the Clubhouse Network website.
Grimshaw works with colleagues from around the world at their 100+ Clubhouses across 20 countries.
The last partner is Youthcomm.org who developed the On My Way curriculum. The training takes a holistic approach to prepare youth for careers.
“On My Way features professional development to help educators implement interactive sessions that guide young adults through many different stages of work readiness: whether they are looking for their first summer job or internship, struggling to balance school and work, or exploring their college and career goals,” stated the Youthcomm.org website.
In July, Promise SSL will start to receive applications for the next cohort. The program will run from September 2021 to August 2022.
Another initiative is reopening. Before the pandemic, homework help was available at the Best Buy Tech Center. The program is reopening for in-person homework help Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. with a specific tutor.