Career Ready Tempe

by Kristian Johnson

Photo by Rawpixel on Unsplash

This summer, the Tempe Chamber of Commerce and the City of Tempe will launch Career Ready Tempe, a two-year youth workforce pilot program intended to tackle barriers to employability for income-eligible youth and help employers create a robust youth talent pipeline.

Teens preparing for today’s workforce have co-existed with the internet for the entirety of their existence. Their “virtually” innate ability to keep their fingertips on the pulse of technology and current trends makes them innovative assets to most industries. Yet, simply due to their age, many young workers lack the soft skills and experience needed to address the human factor required for corporate sustainability. 

The program is funded through the City of Tempe’s Innovation Fund and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Career Readiness Lab Grant. It has been strategically designed to align with industry needs and the City of Tempe’s TempeAchieves65 initiative, Tempe City Council’s goal to reach 65-percent post-secondary-degree attainment for residents by the year 2030, through collective community efforts. Paid eight-week summer internships with Tempe businesses will be offered to eligible juniors and seniors in the Tempe Union High School District. This year’s internship focus is on advanced business services, one of the largest employment sectors in the Tempe economy. Projections show there will be continued employment and advancement opportunities for years to come, preparing students for our future’s top jobs. 

To prepare students for their internships and future employment, Career Ready Tempe has incorporated Arizona State University’s Edge certificate program into its requirements. Edge is a high-quality soft skills training program focused on equipping young people with customer service, leadership and personal development skills. All of which are imperative to their success as future professionals. Career Ready Tempe will also provide one-on-one career and college planning support to enrolled students by linking them to College Connect Tempe, a college and career exploration mentoring program housed within the City of Tempe’s Human Services Department. 

Career Ready Tempe proposes to develop the future workforce of Tempe so that it aligns with industry needs by providing youth with internships, increasing the number of young people in Tempe who enter career fields that meet industry demands. Often, companies would like to reach new talent pools of young adults — especially in growing industries or those affected by skills gaps — but lack the in-house capacity or expertise. Career Ready Tempe can help Tempe businesses think strategically about the future and make sure we are developing the talent pipeline for 10, 20 years from now.

Not only will the Career Ready Tempe program offer participating Tempe businesses assistance in selecting and preparing student-interns, but program funds will also serve to compensate those who have been granted internship placement.

Career Ready Tempe is currently seeking internship host sites. Prospective Businesses are encouraged to apply at by March 17.

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