Our Prototyping Journey
How we are testing our idea
Detroit will test the efficacy of their youth job-training program by teaching the curriculum and gathering student feedback, as well as seeing if subsidized transportation increases student participation. The city is collecting feedback at high schools through existing programs.
What we’re discovering through testing
Using hiring managers from local companies, the Detroit team ran mock interviews with students, to evaluate the skills they had learned from the program. The test was a great success—some employers were so impressed that they offered students jobs on the spot! The team learned that employers need just as much support. The employers involved are even thinking about how to revive and shift their internship programs - now that their eyes have been opened to the skills students have.
It isn't just whether students can make eye contact in an interview–you have to help them know how to react to the barriers that block their success.Leader of Detroit Job Program
As part of this project, the team has embedded career specialists into some of the schools. Going beyond the issues of transportation and clothing, they are gaining in-depth insights about the barriers that stop children from progressing into careers; such as their mental health awareness, or the impact of previous trauma.
What we've learned
Through testing, the Detroit team learned more about the experiences of youth dealing with difficult sitations at home, and the impact of this on their ability to gain employment. Career specialists shared that students demonstrated emotional distress when they felt threatened, ashamed, or embarrassed - directly impacting their success at work. This has led the team to the realization that a behavioral health component should be deeply integrated into the program.
We realized there was no way we were just going to focus on technical skills and expect students to be ready for the opportunities emerging in DetroitNicole Sherard Freeman, CEO, Detroit Employment Solutions Corp.
This past Friday, Grow Detroit's Young Talent hosted a behavioral health training for 1,000+ students, making it the only youth workforce program in the country to incorporate behavioral health in such a pronounced way. #mayorschallenge #detroit4:07 PM - 13 Aug 2018 abouchakra