Mayor’s Office of Employment Development: Thesis Collaboration with YouthWorks

How might we reimagine short-term jobs to create long-term career pathways for youth?

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I designed and printed this poster at Globe Press in Baltimore.

Project in a Nutshell
Utilizing human-centered design to improve the youth and worksite supervisor experience during YouthWorks to ensure that early work experience translate into long-term career opportunities for youth.

Summary
The Baltimore City Mayor’s Office of Employment Development Summer Jobs Program, YouthWorks, places 8,000 young people between the ages of 14 and 21 in to work experiences across 1000 worksites every summer. Fifty percent of these young people are working their very first job. This program is run by a handful of year-round permanent staff and a team of temporary positions that get hired on for the summer, which can make managing all of the different work sites challenging. With first work experiences being a critical moment in a young person’s life we’re exploring how to ensure positive and productive job placements for all YouthWorks participants, with a particular focus on embedding transferable skill development into every youth position, regardless of host organization scope of work or previous experience training and managing youth.

Project Team
Molly Reddy, in collaboration with staff members from Baltimore City’s Mayor’s Office of Employment Development and YouthWorks.

Faculty Advisors
Thomas Gardner, Mike Weikert, Lee Davis, Becky Slogeris.

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Download this one-pager as a .pdf here

Launching Artists in Baltimore Fellowship
Through support from the MICA LAB Award I’m continuing work based upon the findings of my thesis research (process document linked below). This summer I’m working with a group of 9 youth to track their job experience through journey mapping the process. The journey mapping team attended a training workshop and have been reporting on the best and worst moments as they go, in order to build a final journey map of their experience once they complete their summer internship.

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I’ve also been conducting one-time ideation workshops with different worksites (sometimes at their workplace and sometimes at the MICA Center for Social Design, where the workshop always ends in a ball pit photo shoot!) to inform the creation of an introductory professional skills curriculum and toolkit.

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Download the abbreviated process document of my thesis here.

 

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