Service years are a form of workforce development well-suited to young adults that combines work-based learning and career development with a motivating social purpose.
Evidence shows that regardless of background, a young person in full-time service learns workplace behaviors and skills, experiences a specific field, makes connections, and develops the pride that comes with a paycheck. Research demonstrates that the sense of purpose and direction developed through these experiences can inspire a young adult to pursue further education or advance on a career path, leading to future economic success, often in public service fields that are experiencing talent shortages.
The development of “soft skills” like communications, collaboration, creativity, and cultural competency — skills that are not easily taught or learned — is becoming increasingly more important for America’s workforce to remain competitive in today’s economy. Employees who possess these soft skills are more sought after as they can learn quickly, adapt, and take on a variety of job functions at all levels of seniority. Service year programs enable service year corps members to develop these essential soft skills that are valued by employers and critical across job sectors, but are not taught in the classroom and are increasingly difficult to find.
Service year corps members learn how to effectively communicate, because it’s critical to achieve a common goal.
Service years foster the ability to work individually and as a team, instilling a strong work ethic and responsibility to and appreciation of one’s colleagues.
Service year corps members are able to create, innovate, and come up with new ways of doing things.
Service year corps members are bridge builders.
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