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Peckham, Inc in Lansing is taking an innovative approach to career exposure with their Talent Tours. Each month, Peckham chooses a specific field and career pathway to focus on. They update a career board, located in the entryway of the program office for all youth to see. The board includes a wide variety of information from local hiring statistics, entry-level pay, necessary credentials, and information on how to move into higher positions within the industry. It also includes a sign-up sheet so all youth that take an interest in the career can take part in that month’s talent tour. If they sign up, they are added to an email list that provides updates on all of the events for that Tour.
Over the course of the month, the career board comes alive through the activities that take place as part of the Talent Tour. Right Turn participants take an in-depth look at what it is like to join that career field, and what it takes to be employed. Peckham staff starts by giving an overview of the different types of jobs available in the industry. For example, while investigating the medical field the talent tour discussed every position from doctor, to nurse, to nursing assistant, to phlebotomist, among others. Then, they move on to talking about the education and career experience required for each job, and the different amounts of training time required depending on the position. These give youth a realistic idea of the pathways that they will need to take before entering that field. This often includes a community volunteer coming to Peckham to speak to you about their own experience being employed in the field.
Finally, Peckham staff arranges on-site job tours in each field, utilizing community partnerships. One especially popular tour came about through a partnership with Michigan State University and the Lansing Parks and Recreation Department where they visited local parks and learned about various positions in environmental sciences and services. Through working with Fed Ex, Right Turn youth got an inside look at shipping and receiving, as well as the supply chain side of the business. Other Talent Tours have looked at construction, marketing, HR and Finance, hospitality, law enforcement, and the local fire department. They have been an invaluable tool for giving Right Turn youth an in-depth look at new careers that they may have never considered before.
For more information about Peckham, Inc click here.
For more guidance on strategies and policies that work for youth involved with the juvenile justice system, please refer to Making the Right Turn: A Guide About Improving Transition Outcomes for Youth Involved in the Juvenile Corrections System