Magazine article HRMagazine

Job-Skills Boot Camp: An Award-Winning Idea

Magazine article HRMagazine

Job-Skills Boot Camp: An Award-Winning Idea

Article excerpt

In a statewide poll conducted by the Mississippi State Council of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the 150 respondents' top concern was that the state's high school graduates had poor work ethics and possessed very few job skills.

Jan Farve, workforce readiness director for the Mississippi State Council, conceived of the Skillz Drillz boot camp for sixth-graders. The program is now held in 67 of Mississippi's 82 counties and at several private schools. For its efforts, it was one of two state councils to win a SHRM 2012 Pinnacle Award.

Farve said the idea came from her experience with similar youth-challenge boot camps held by the Mississippi National Guard.

"So I went to the state council, and we all decided that this could work, but we weren't sure what grade to develop it for," said Farve, Mississippi state HR director for United Blood Services. The state council "examined some statewide educational research, which found that the sixth grade was when students really begin planning and thinking about their future careers."

Skillz Drillz participants learn basic work-related skills, such as being on time, paying attention, accepting responsibility and becoming involved with the community. …

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