Summer Jobs & Community Assets

One great benefit of summer jobs programs is the way that a summer jobs program can highlight the strengths and assets of the community. Youth participants learn about businesses and organizations in their community with jobs in every sector – business, finance, science/technology, government, human services, childcare, museums, parks, environment, agriculture, tourism, hospitality and more. […]

Science Wednesdays

New on my calendar this year — each Wednesday afternoon I am leading a Science Wednesdays group for a group of children ages 7-12, plus teen assistants.   Our small group meets weekly after school on Wednesdays in the conference room of a nonprofit group.  We enjoy the luxury of having time and materials for experimenting.   For the study […]

What is the Mosaic Economy?

A couple of years ago I wrote “The Mosaic Economy,” exploring the question “where are the jobs in today’s economy?” I like to describe the economy as a “mosaic economy.”  The economy is clearly not made up of just one source of jobs, but many different sectors that come together.  Rather than an economy in […]

Why a Youth Development Focus?

A positive youth development approach focuses on building community assets that support youth in their healthy development. This month, I am celebrating the 20th anniversary of my business, The Skills Library, with a series of posts about my work. This work continues to be exciting, with one project always leading to another.   I have active […]

Why The Skills Library?

This October marks the twentieth anniversary of my business, The Skills Library.  I am celebrating the anniversary with a series of short articles about the work I have been doing.    First, why did I choose this name?  The name started as a brainstorming exercise. While thinking about starting the business, I created a list of […]

Youth Development and Summer Jobs

A reflection on the concept of “youth development” in the context of youth summer jobs ….. The concept of Youth Development is used to design youth programs through a positive lens, viewing youth as positive assets to the community and understanding the positive experiences that contribute to personal development.   Youth development theory emphasizes the idea of […]

Creativity + School-to-Career Experiences

At the May 19th Massachusetts School-to-Career Connecting Activities conference, school partners in the Massachusetts Creativity & Innovation grant program displayed the projects that they have developed.  Displays included projects about robotics, design & innovation, math, physics, biology and the arts.   Participating schools have designed curriculum that engages students in “design thinking” and in the opportunity to experiment, tinker […]

First Career Steps Survey: Career Development Opportunities

What are schools in your community doing to help students explore career options and plan for the future?  How could your community do more? The First Career Steps Survey asks students about the career exploration and planning activities they have done, as well as asking an open-ended question about what their school does that is […]

Choosing Postsecondary Paths – Work, Military, Apprenticeship & More

Through the online First Career Steps Survey, The Skills Library has been gathering insights into high school students’ career planning. The survey, now with over 3,200 results, is available from the Skills Library home page or directly from this link. With a trend toward more and more students entering college after high school, it is […]

Seven Skills for Parks and Landscaping

What are the skills learned in jobs and internships in parks and landscaping?  How can summer jobs in park maintenance and landscaping be designed to help youth build skills and explore career options?  What types of projects and tasks enhance learning?  Here is an example of seven skills, with associated tasks, taken from a sample of […]