You need experience to get a job, but you need a job to get experience.
We all at some point or another will have to work, but where to start? For some the first job/work experience comes in high school looking for a part time gig, mostly to get gas money to have freedom from parental oversight. For others it comes after graduation, whether that be high school or college, when entering a full time position and really getting an understanding of what it’s like to have a job.
Finding that first job can be hard, we have all seen the “looking for someone with experience” in a job posting. But where do we get this experience? How do we get experience if we can’t get that first job? Do we rely on personal connections to find employment?
Many find this “experience” through the education system. High School can provide many with opportunities to learn responsibility, communication skills, and a strong work ethic. Through activities, clubs, and sports teams students can gain these valuable skills and hopefully have enough “experience” to get that entry level job and start building a resume.
Yet studies show that many entry level employees still aren’t ready for their jobs. “Business and industry representatives express considerable dissatisfaction with the general level of preparedness of prospective entry-level employees (Committee for Economic Development 1985, p. 17)”(Cotton). It sometimes doesn’t even have to do with education either, “Employers’ dissatisfaction with young job applicants is not primarily due to inadequate technical knowledge or skill”(Cotton). So what is disgruntling employers with their recent hires?
It is seen that more and more employers are finding that employees struggle with the basic skills of what it means to be employable. What we have seen in studies and in our own shop is that new persons to the workforce lack basic skills such as: problem solving, decision making, self-management, oral communication, punctuality, adaptability, and others.
That is where GoodTurn Cycles comes in.
At GoodTurn Cycles we train to 5 Core Values:
- We take initiative
- We come ready to work
- We come ready to learn
- We have positive attitudes
- We are dependable
These 5 skills, we feel, leave our interns with the skills and experience to find, maintain and contribute-in meaningful employment.
Our mission is to provide job training to teens and young adults who have barriers to employment by taking them through our internship program. Through the bike mechanical program the interns learn basic skills for customer service, bike mechanics, and everyday cleaning duties. Each week they focus on a different theme of being an employable worker such as things like problem solving, verbal communication, and self management.
Working one to one, our full time employees will then walk them through the hands on training process while also quizzing interns on things such as: the terminology used with bikes, how parts/systems on the bike operate, or what customers might ask in a sales situation.
Interns are challenged to use communication, their module workbook, and other resources to solve issues when they arise. Given the space to work independently, guided by our trained staff, Interns develop problem solving skills specific to their individual strengths.We use their modules to measure what skills they have mastered and which skills still need perfecting. Due to the one-on-one training & mentorship each intern receives, we are able to work at a pace and in a way that is most beneficial to that intern. At the end of their program, each intern’s module binder, and their specific experience, looks a bit different from everyone else’s. It is really fun to see each individual grow in their own specific ways through our program!
We partner with other great organizations such as Atlas Coffee, Project Recycle, Giant Denver and Cafe 180 to give interns an opportunity to see what skills can carry over from the bike shop into other industries as we go to their places of business and get the lowdown on how they operate. We believe that for the three months our interns spend with us, they will leave having developed skills that make them stand out to future employers.
Developing Employability Skills + Skills List (3rd Party Education Company) (cotton)
7301 S. Santa Fe Drive, Suite 342
Littleton, CO 80120