Wednesday morning Project Manager / Shareholder Matt Davis joined others from the Downtown Chamber’s Advocacy Committee for the launch of Student-to-Employer (S2E), a new initiative to connect students of the program with Chamber employer-members. The idea is to provide students with business and employment experiences through job shadows, internships, apprenticeships, reverse job fairs or career nights.
The goal of this program is to help expand students’ future employment aspirations by putting them in front of positions and career paths they may not be aware of. There are a lot of students who have no idea what they want to do after high school and many who don’t know about the many incredible opportunities available around them. S2E will help them imagine the possibilities and provide opportunities to reach their full potential.
Above: Graduates of DMACC Urban Campus discuss the impact the program had on their careers
By pairing students with local employers, the students will get to view how the employers perform their job each and every day. The students will gain technical knowledge as well as personal insight into the businesses they are paired with. Each student will get a sense of the training or education needed to attain the position they experience as well as the ‘why’ – why the employer chose the position for themselves, why they enjoy doing what they do, why they come back to work every day.
Above: Students participating in the Evelyn K. Davis Center summer program speak to the impact of the program
The Downtown Chamber discovered that employers understand the benefit of connecting with students. They’ve also found that there are more students than internships or jobs available. Programs like the six that attended the S2E launch – Des Moines Central Campus, DMACC Urban Campus, Evelyn K. Davis Center for Working Families, Gear Up Iowa, iJAG, and Oakridge Neighborhood – are already working to help students find positions and gain experience, but there has been a disconnect between these programs and employers. Now, with S2E, Des Moines will be able to partner more students with community employers, help individuals discover opportunities they were unaware of and build a strong, diverse workforce.
Above: The Oakridge Neighborhood hosts a summer program to help provide opportunities for students to help them prepare for their future.
“It has been a pleasure participating as part of the DT Chamber Advocacy Committee and partnering with local businesses to better the local community, young children and each and every industry” said Matt. “With a current and anticipated shortfall of trades people joining the workforce, this program provides employers with an opportunity to lead the younger generation in work ethic, professionalism and a chance to teach them a skill that could potentially turn into a career. We are proud to be a member of the Des Moines Downtown Chamber of Commerce and privileged to work with a group of local professionals to make a positive change for the future. “
Above: The official ribbon cutting ceremony, launching S2E, was held June 27, 2018.
Above: DT Chamber Advocacy Committee Members hold ribbons connecting to each of the local programs to symbolically show the link between students and employers.
For more information on Student-to-Employer and other chamber programs and events, check out the Des Moines Downtown Chamber’s website.