This year, SF YouthWorks will continue to prioritize serving youth with barriers to employment. This includes youth who attend alternative schools, whose first language is not English, who reside in public housing, or who meet other criteria that is statistically linked to lower levels of career achievement. In order to ensure that the internship experience is successful, YouthWorks has decreased every Employment Coordinator’s caseload in order to provide more individual focus on each youth intern. This includes providing an extended pre-employment training, more one-on-one support, and on-the-job assistance. Worksite mentors will also receive more support from staff, such as training options and individualized assistance.
SF YouthWorks will be implementing a 6-week probationary period for school year interns. Mentors and interns will establish workplace expectations together, and discuss goals regarding work duties and professional development. During this period mentors will monitor and evaluate intern progress using the “Introductory Evaluation” form. Employment Coordinators will call mentors after two weeks of placement to check in, and will later schedule a site visit at the end of the six week period to confirm that youth are doing well and review the “Introductory Evaluation”. The Introductory Evaluation is due November 30th and can be found here.
By providing interns with an introductory period SF YouthWorks is mirroring probation period’s found at most professional job sites. During these six weeks Employment Coordinators have the opportunity to evaluate the internship to make sure it is a great match between intern and mentor, which increases participant retention. Interns gain a clear understanding of what is expected from them in their new professional worksite.