Latino Youth Job Training and Career Exploration Program:

Latino Youth Job Training and Career Exploration Program:

The Success of the Woodburn Cohort


The Interface Network/YWCA Latino Youth Job Training and Career Exploration Program continue to partner to serve local minority youth in Marion County through job skills development training and career exploration activities.A new cohort of Latino Youth Job Training and Career Exploration Program students was started in 2011 on site at Woodburn High School.Students from WAAST, WEBs, and AIS; separate divisions of Woodburn High School, were recruited to participate in weekly job training and career exploration activities after school at the high school.Seventeen students were recruited and served throughout the winter, spring and early summer in Woodburn.All of the Woodburn cohort students are bilingual, in English and Spanish and English and Russian.

Participants met each Wednesday after school and received more than 38 hours of job skills development training including Customer Service Excellence, Leadership Development, Financial Literacy, Workplace Ethics, Cultural Competency and Diversity Training, Entrepreneurship, Conflict Resolution, Interviewing and Job Search Strategies, Assertiveness Development, Resume Development, and participants were placed in a work experience internship.In addition, the Woodburn High School students participated in mock interviews, dress for success activities, and career field trips, such as the highly popular career field trip to Univision/Channel 2 in Portland.The participants were able to meet with local Spanish-language reporters and enter the world of news and journalism to learn first-hand what it takes to get commercials and local and world news to the television screen.

The majority of Woodburn High School cohort participants had little to no work experience prior to joining the Latino Youth Job Training Program; most of the work experience was limited to field work and agriculture.Over half of the Woodburn cohort students have secured full-time or part-time employment since joining the program – and many of them attribute their success to the mock interview experience which prepared them with skills for successful interviewing.Program youth have secured employment in local Woodburn businesses including Subway Restaurants, Ralph Lauren Polo, American Eagle Outfitters, Norpac, Intermediate Computers, Oregon Child Development Coalition, Barlow Berries, Tommy Hillfiger, and S & R Smith.Many Woodburn cohort members will continue to work part-time in the fall while attending Chemeketa Community College in Woodburn and Salem while other participants will attend four-year universities such as University of Oregon.

Latino Youth Job Training and Career Exploration Program looks forward to serving additional Woodburn youth in the future and to continuing the successful partnership with the Woodburn School District.Through the collaboration, and by combining resources, local youth, local businesses from the trained workforce, and the economy benefits, it’s a win-win for all!