Learn all-important “soft skills” at the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County

Special promotional content provided by the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County

Some skills are not picked up on the job. For those skills, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County is offering an after-school course for teens this October as they prepare to enter the workforce.

Soft Skills After-School Club, hosted by the Boys & Girls Clubs at the McKenzie Regional Workforce Center, will give teens the chance to develop soft skills such as communication, teamwork, job searching, resume building, interviewing, and many other skills throughout its 11-week after-school program. The program is one of four starting this fall as part of the Boys & Girls Club’s Careerforce Build-UP! programs meant to provide teens with the skills to succeed in the workplace.

The program comes as employers are seeing shortfalls in soft skills in the emerging teenage workforce.

“We met with a lot of employers, and really it came down to, most employers feel like they can train individuals for hard skills or technical skills that are needed once they start employment,” Stephanie Johnston, assistant vice president for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Dane County, said. “But really, it’s the soft skills that they’re finding that individuals are having a hard time with.”

Johnston said employers attribute the shortfalls to multiple reasons at no fault of anyone. Students entering the workforce may not have help from parents working or access to the internet and may be unsure how to approach finding a job.

“There are various different barriers, so we’re trying to make this accessible for those who need it the most,” Johnston said.

As a mother of three teenage boys herself, Johnston recognizes that schools are not going to be able to teach soft skills and that parents are not always going to be in a position to help their children with job searches.

By the end of the program, members will walk away feeling confident in their abilities to job-search and be ready to enter the workforce, having crafted their resume, participated in mock interviews, and developed an elevator pitch to introduce themselves in a business setting.

Soft Skills After School Club will take place at the McKenzie Regional Workforce Center, 5215 Verona Rd. in Fitchburg. The program will meet Mondays and Wednesdays through Dec. 13 from 5-7 p.m. Dinner is included. The program began October 2 but there are still five spots available.

Registration for Soft Skills After-School Club can be found on the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County’s website.