One of the most important things that any high school graduate needs to learn is how to qualify for and succeed at their first job. In Grand Junction, we have many businesses that have what are considered entry level positions in their organizations. For these small business owners choosing their next employee without the benefit of past work experience is difficult. The Hire Me First Program is designed to take students on a journey of career exploration, workplace skill development, and job place immersion that will put them “first” when it comes to applying for work with an employer. It is one thing to get a job. It is another thing to keep that job and excel in the work environment. Students will learn what it takes to be successful at work.

The Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce is partnering with Mesa County Valley School District 51, and the Mesa County Workforce Center to offer a semester long class for one (1) high school elective credit, starting on January 11, 2016. The class will be offered on Mondays and Wednesdays, from 4-6 p.m. and held at the Mesa County Workforce Center, 512 29 ½ Road. Students also have the opportunity to receive additional elective credit, based on the level of the student’s award on the ACT WorkKeys Assessments.

The class will have three components: ACT WorkKeys Assessments, which includes Business Writing, Applied Mathematics, Locating Information, Applied Technology, Reading for Information, Workplace Observation, Listening for Understanding, Teamwork, Talent, Fit, and Performance; 21st Century Skills workshops, covering Collaboration, Critical Thinking, Communication, Time Management, Initiative, and Information Literacy; and a Career Unit complete with a cover letter, resume, and mock interview for an actual job in the student’s area of interest. Lastly, students will be matched with an employer for Job Shadow opportunities at local businesses. Job Shadow opportunities will be during the final three weeks of the class, and students may explore up to six different careers, or complete one or two Job Shadows.

At the completion of the 16-week class, students will “graduate” with a “Hire Me First” certificate that they can present to employers during job interviews. Many local businesses have agreed to offer jobs “first” to those students with the Hire Me First certificate. For more information about how you, as business people can help, contact Terri at the Chamber office (Terri@gjchamber.org or call 970-263-2916).

Click here to download full version of the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce January 2016 Newsletter.

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