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Keyword: workforce development board

By Diana Creasy, Baltimore County Department of Economic and Workforce Development

The networking was face-to-face, not face-to-Facebook. Business professionals and youth met in a packed room at Greater Baltimore Medical Center. The idea? Help young people learn the art of old-school networking.

“This event benefits both parties—employers and students,” said Dontè Brown, a Community College of Baltimore County Learn, Earn, Achieve, Progress (CCBC LEAP) program student.” It’s beneficial to people like me who are nervous and trying to come out of our shell and it gets the employers familiar with their future employees.”

Emergent – Youth Networking brought together members of the Baltimore County Workforce Board and other business professionals to network and mentor youth from the CCBC LEAP program. Each young adult was able to meet with five different mentors throughout the evening to help build confidence, gain social engagement skills, receive constructive feedback, and develop real world relationships with industry professionals.

“With technology driving communication, it’s harder for young people to learn personal networking skills,” said Jim Russell, Baltimore County Workforce Board Member and CFO/COO of North American Millwright. “Classroom training can only teach so much.”

CCBC’s LEAP program provides 150 young adults ages 18-24 with comprehensive education and employment services to prepare them for success in the workplace. The program offers young adults an opportunity to obtain a secondary diploma, engage in career exploration, gain industry recognized credentials, and acquire employment and work-based learning experiences.

“It’s great they are getting started with networking early in their careers,” said Crystal Hickey, Baltimore County Workforce Board Member and Senior VP of Human Resources for Stella Maris.

CCBC LEAP student Courey Veney summed up the experience. “I walked in with butterflies, but after talking to a few people, I felt great. This event helped me improve my social skills and really taught me how to network.”

Emergent – Youth Networking was organized by the Youth Services team of the Baltimore County Department of Economic and Workforce Development as part of Job Connector, a new program established by County Executive Kamenetz that connects employers with a pipeline of talent whose skills match business needs. 

Revised September 11, 2017