Job Training for High School Grads: How Forrest is Giving Back

 

Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow

About the author: Marcos Briones is Vice President Operations at Forrest Solution and has been leading Forrest Solutions’ partnership with Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow for four years.

Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow (OBT) is a non-profit serving youths from low-income communities of New York City since its inception in 1983. With an ambitious mission of helping disadvantaged youth and adults recognize their own self-worth, and advance towards self-sufficiency and financial security through job training, academic reinforcement, improved life skills, job placement, and support services, Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow (OBT) needs strong partners to make their mission a reality.

We are proud that throughout our years of partnering together, Forrest Solutions has guided about 45 interns a year through the program and has hired over 150 of OBT’s graduates!

How it Works

We meet with the program participants to identify what their interests and passions are, then we train them on a multitude of different job skills. On Mondays they report to OBT training where we focus on everything from how to prepare for a job interview to learning technical and computer skillsets such as the Microsoft Suite. Through our training curriculum and on the job training, they get the opportunity to engage, experience and learn about the needs of a variety of industries.  We give them exposure on jobs and services within the hospitality, office services, mail and print room work, and more. We provide microlearning opportunities where we train participants on jobs for anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes and then allow them to ask questions. This helps to keep them focused instead of training them for 5 hours straight and exhausting them.

After some basic trainings, we pair the program participants with a mentor to train with them on a different services to see which jobs they’ll enjoy most. After a few months of training and individual development, we identify job opportunities and look to see where they are best fitted to make an impact to the workforce.  we can hire people internally because we want to provide them an opportunity to hold their first job. Then we look to see which of our clients have job openings that would be a good fit. When we feel confident that someone is ready to enter the workforce, we help them get hired on with our clients for anywhere from 12-15 weeks. This allows them to get real, hands-on experience and build their resumes for their future careers.

How COVID Affected the Program

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we wanted to make sure that they would still able to participate in the program and we didn’t want to disappoint them. We transitioned our job training to an online program so participants could still advance their skill sets. The online training has been so successful, that OBT has adopted online training into their program as well. We’re proud of this because it was a big change but we made it work to continue the job training.

Forrest Solutions believes deeply in OBT’s mission and core values of confidence, discipline, and professionalism.  With alignment in OBT’s mission, Forrest Solutions committed themselves to the partnership and providing as much value as possible – and we’re excited for what the future holds!